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When the Cock Crows 



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When the Cock Crows 



BY 

WALDRON ^AILY 

Author rf «« Heart 9f the Blue Ridge^** 
" TheHmeward Trail,** etc. 



ILLUSTRATED BY 
G. W. GAGE 



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NEW YORK 

BEDFORD PUBLISHING Ca 

1918 



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BOOK MANUrACTUINM 

MOOKLVN. N. V. 




TO 

Him* ^aatfifw Paniels 

As a token of the author's admiration and re- 
spect, for one who in the greatest crisis in 
history has demonstrated to the public 
those qualities of courage, determina- 
tion and achievement that his 
friends have always 
known him to 
possess. 



CONTENTS 



CBAFTBR FAGB 

I. Ichabod's Island 9 

II. Among the Breakers 19 

III. A New Calamity 31 

IV. Under the After Awning 38 

V. A Prisoner of Morphia 49 

VI. Hunting a Clue 64 

VII. Stormbound 77 

VIII. The Effiqency OF Clam-Broth 87 

IX. Once in a Lifetime 100 

X. Eyes from the Deep 108 

XI. The Awakening of Ichabod. . 127 

XII. Toward the Unknown ^ 140 

XIII- Among the Fisherfolk 151 

XIV. Garnet the Hero ^ 168 

XV. Adrift with a Madman 180 

XVI. The Coming-out Party 191 

XVII. Strangers at Ichabod's Island 203 

XVIII. The Call of the Dark 215 

7 



8 CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

XIX. Bottled Up 228 

XX. The Truth Unalloyed 234 

XXI. Sealed Orders 249 

XXII. The Parting Crow 261 

XXIII. The Search up the Shore. . . 272 

XXIV. A Gentleman's Promise 284 

XXV. Doing his Bit \ 291 



WHEN THE COCK CROWS 



CHAPTER I 
Ichabod's Island 

THE tide was at ebb. The noisily rush- 
ing spume-spotted waters of the sea 
were pounding the hard-sand shore 
of the easterly side of a beautiful island, nest- 
ling as a jewel in its setting just within the 
Capes, which form the shores on either side 
of Beaufort Inlet, but so exposed that when 
the winds blow from the sea the full force 
of the breakers is felt at this point. As this 
small bit of land is low-ljdng, more than 
once when a southeaster has raged, the tiny 
isle has become entirely submerged. 

Man has placed but one habitation upon 
this toy of the great waters, and that a fisher- 
man's shack, surrounded with the usual net- 
drying racks and other crude tools of the 

9 



10 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

fisherfolk. One would rightly guess that the 
occupant of an abode built upon such a tiny 
bit of old mother earth must be a hardy cus- 
tomer, who understood the ways of the winds 
and sea and who dared combat them. 

It is suiuise. The door of the hut swings 
on its heavy hinges. A sturdy-looking old 
fellow with grizzled beard and flowing locks 
steps out of the shack, and, as has been his 
wont for years, he scans the horizon for a sail 
or perchance for other more modem craft of 
the sea. 

In his arms, he is tenderly carrying a large 
Dominick rooster, which, judging from his 
length of spurs, and scaly legs, has lingered 
many summers. Satisf)dng himself that there 
is no boat in sight, to break the monotony 
of the view. Captain Ichabod places his only 
living companion — ^as he expresses it, his 
poultry alarm clock — ^upon the ground, and 
from a pocket produces a handful of com, 
which the old cock greedily devours. 

These two have been companions for a long 
time. Captain Ichabod found him one morn- 
ing perched upon the top of a floating crate, 
washed from the deck of a schooner that had 



ICHABOD'S ISLAND 11 

gone upon the beach in a booming southeaster. 
The Captain had proved a life-saver indeed 
to the proud old bird. Ichabod, when he 
first spied Shrimp, as he afterward named this 
bit of flotsam, was wildly anxious to save 
the creature so it might have a life on shore 
suited to its nature and desires. Then it 
flashed upon him that his antiquated and well- 
worn alarm dock had ceased to work. It 
occurred to him that the rooster's crowing 
would suffice to advise him of the hour, and 
that there would be no need to buy another 
dock. 

The Captain was a woman-hater. This 
fact accounted for his choosing to live as a 
hermit on the bit of sand, which he had 
grown to love. But that loneliness was a 
trial to Shrimp, who naturally desired a 
harem of his own. Many times, when the 
wind was from the mainland, Captain Icha- 
bod had heard the far-away crow of a barn- 
yard fowl, and had gravely and criticizingly 
listened as Shrimp returned the salute in 
lusty manner. He had seen the bird swell 
in rage, and his comb turn red in jealous 
envy of the other rooster on the mainland. • 



12 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Captain Ichabod had now come to busying 
himself with fishing by hook and line for blue 
fish and sheepshead. In addition he set a 
Une of gill nets in the cove for mullet or any 
other fish that might become entangled within 
their meshes. On all his excursions Shrimp 
accompanied his master. He would perch 
himself proudly upon the centerboard box. 
More than once, before becoming a seasoned 
sailor, he had failed to dodge the boom to 
which the little leg o' mutton sail was at- 
tached, and had been knocked from his 
perch when Uncle Ichabod for a joke let 
the boat jibe in a flaw of the wind. But 
Shrimp learned. He learned to dodge the 
boom. He became, tmder stress of circtim- 
stances, an expert sailor — ^and was never sea- 
sick. 

When Shrimp had finished his meal, Ich- 
abod addressed the mangy-looking bird very 
gravely: 

"Shrimp, thar hain't nary sail nor steamer 
smoke in sight off the Capes and I low thar 
has a dozen skippers seen that-thar same 
mare's tail as did I last night, and has had 
the good common sense to haul to in the 



ICHABOD'S ISLAND 13 

hook o' the Cape ter ride out the blow that is 
sure ter come. May the sarpants o' Davy 
Jones' have mercy on him or her as don't 
take kiwer; me an' you, rooster, '11 have ter 
do our hook an' linin' in the Spar Channel on 
this ebb fer so soon as she hauls a leetle more 
to the south'ard thar is goin' ter be hell 
kicked up in the Inlet an' me and yo', ole 
feathers an' comb, had better do our anglin' 
clost enough that we can shoot inter this 
home harbor without loosin' o' our rag." 

Captain Ichabod busied himself with get- 
ting his leads and lines in shape. He cut up 
a half-dozen mullets for bait. Then he picked 
up the mast, aroxmd which was wrapped a 
patchwork of canvas, very snugly. It felt 
at home there for it had been thus rolled 
around the mast time and again through many 
years. Captain Ichabod now walked to the 
red skiff. At his heels Shrimp stalked with 
great dignity. The Captain stepped the 
mast, arranged the halyards, and pushed off. 
The sail caught the wind and Captain Ich- 
abod at the tiller was off for the Spar Channel 
fishing grotmds. 

When he had arrived and thrown his 



14 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

anchor overboard, the Captain addressed 
Shrimp with much solemnity. 

"Shrimp, ye air a heap o' company to the 
ole man, but ye wa'n't built by God A'mighty 
fer a sailin' mate, all he fixed ye fer was to 
peck an' scratch an' fight — oh, yes, an' I 
like ter forgot the crow." 

Then nonchalantly he remarked: 

"An' thar would be a heap more peace in 
the world to-day if he had o' built all kinds o' 
Hens without thar tarnation cackle." 

When Captain Icky mentioned the word 
cackle he thought he could detect a dejected 
look upon the coxmtenance of his feathered 
friend, and in a sympathetic voice to ease the 
rooster's feelings, said : 

"Wall, rooster, I must say that yo'r women 
folks was made with the only kind of cackle 
that has done men folks any good, but gosh 
darned if it hain't a right-smart bit since I's 
et an aig!" 

Then, having thus relieved himself, Ich- 
abod tossed his heavily sinkered lines into the 
swift tide. The fish were hungry, and he 
was kept busy hauling them in. 

The swell began to increase. The small 



ICHABOD'S ISLAND 15 

craft began to rock uncomfortably. The 
sun was hidden by a red cloud that banked 
in the eastern sky. Captain Ichabod knew 
the signs. He pulled in his line and hooks, 
made sail, and beat across to the point where 
nestled the life-saving station. There he 
would read the barometer, have a chat and 
a meal with the men, and afterward make a 
quick run home before the wind. 

At the life-saving station, he found the 
barometer indicated storm, as he had feared. 

After a hearty dinner, and a pipe with yams. 
Captain Ichabod set sail for the Island, and 
made it safely, in spite of the rising storm. 

The Captain realized that a gale was 
brewing. He gathered up his nets from their 
racks. He made them snug in the shack, 
and stowed away everj^thing movable. He 
was weather-wise. He would not be caught 
unawares. A high tide had more than once 
taught him the lesson of that beach. He had 
the red skiff hauled well up out of harm's way. 
There was, too, an extra anchor tied to the 
painter. Captain Ichabod and the rooster 
entered their cottage, for refuge from the 
wind that was now blowing dangerously. 



16 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

The storm reached such proportions that 
from his window to seaward it was no longer 
possible to make out through the rain and 
spray the broad crepe-like bands of black and 
white painted upon the great, towering light- 
house, at the extreme point of Cape Lookout, 
a few miles to the eastward. The shack was 
fairly shaking in the West India hurricane — 
for such it proved to be. . . . And great 
was the devastation wrought that night by 
both wind and wave. 

About midnight, Captain Ichabod, feeling 
that it was not quite safe to retire, stood in 
the open doorway. He little minded the 
pelting of the rain as it drove against his 
weathered cheek. He had donned his oil- 
skins, hat and slicker, and was peering in- 
tently seaward. He had been to his skiff 
and had dragged it a couple of rods further 
up on the sand as a measure of safety. A 
yellow flash showed dimly on the black storm 
clouds that banked the horizon to the north 
of the Cape — ^wherein nestled a tiny harbor 
of refuge. Those who knew took advantage 
of this retreat in times of tempest. . . . Wo 
unto the hapless seafarer, unknowing the way. 



ICHABOD'S ISLAND 17 

It did not take a second flash for the prac- 
tised eye of the lone man in oilskins to recog- 
nize that this was the thing he had expected — 
even while praying God that it might not be. 
It was the rocket signal of a boat in distress. 
Within sound of the breakers, that could 
not be seen in the pitch black, was some- 
where a mass of timber and iron, burdened 
with cargo and human freight- And that 
mass, which was a ship, dragged its anchor, 
as if that anchor were a toy — ^foot by foot 
to sure destruction on a beach that has 
known a hundred wrecks. 

The rockets continued to flare. Closer 
and closer to the outer shoals of the beach 
they beamed. The ship was swiftly and 
surely going to its doom. 

Turning his face to the clouded heavens, 
and raising his voice in a final appeal, Uncle 
Ichabod prayed : 

"God help the boys in such a surf." 

At the point where the ship was making 

the distress signals, the coast offered only a 

narrow strip of sand, nmning from the Cape to 

. Ocracoke Inlet — ^many miles to the northeast. 

The old fisherman's face was ashen. There 



18 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

was nothing that he could do except stand 
and helplessly watch the final disaster. He 
realized that the craft was doomed. He was 
powerless to interfere, although in despair 
over this catastrophe before his very eyes. 
He turned away, and entered his little house, 
and tried to sleep. But he was wakeful, 
and found himself murmuring prayers for 
those who went down to the sea in ships. 



CHAPTER n 
Among thb Breakers 

ORDINARILY, Captain Idiabod Jones 
enjoyed being crooned to sleq> by 
the weird soonds ci the winds as 
they beat about the comers ci his cottage. 
Now, his mind was filled with a menxny of 
last frantic cries uttefed by^noen, women and 
children as their clinging hold was loosed 
from the dereHct, the sturdy frame of whidi 
he had heard strike on the rocks, as she went 
to her grave in the sea. Now, he heard the 
damors of despair, voiced in the shrieking of 
the gale. He tossed uneasily upon his bed, 
offering ever and anon a prayer to the God 
that rules mad waters to have mercy upon 
those even then fighting a last grim battle 
with d^ft th. 

The first gray gleam of dawn showed a 
tinge of storm red, radiant and calm above 
the wildly tossing surges of the sea. 

19 



«0 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Uncle Icky got out of his bunk, built a 
fire in the stove and set his coffee to boil. 
Then, of a sudden, he forgot his preparations 
for breakfast. His sharp ears had caught 
the far-away chug-chug of a naphtha-driven 
craft. He listened, and knew that the boat 
was making its way toward the Island. 

" Well, 111 be blowed," said the Captain to 
himself — ^and the rooster. What fool skipper 
would come down this shore, even on the 
inside, in such a kick-up as is goin' on? He 
shore must be pltimb daffy, or arter an M.D. 
for a mighty sick htmian. I'll try an' hail 
him as he passes; but the Lord knows he 
can't pass to the wind'ard o' this-here Island 
till she ca'ms a heap, an' if he tries to go to 
lee'ard he'll shore as shootin' take up on the 
oyster rocks, an' stove her through to her 
vitals." 

Captain Ichabod was right. No land lub- 
ber, unacquainted with the dangerous cur- 
rents and powerful surf breaking over the 
bar at the Inlet, could pilot a craft safely 
past the little Island in good weather — ^let 
alone the doing of it in this tail-end of a gale. 
Unde Icky rushed from the cottage, lantern 



AMONG THE BREAKERS 21 

in hand. He tried to wave a warning to the 
foolhardy adventurer who was thus darting 
down at breakneck speed on the mill-race of 
the ebb tide to certain destruction. 

Captain Ichabod ran with his lantern to 
the far point of land, and waved it frantically 
in warning. The wind-driven spray of the 
surf soaked and chilled him to the bone. But 
he swung his light in desperate earnestness, 
though his efforts seemed of no avail, for the 
launch swept on toward its doom. Ichabod 
now could see that it was a palatial yacht, 
of trim btiild, with a prow that cut the waves 
like a razor. But, too, he knew that, after 
rotmding the point, the tiny vessel would 
meet the full fury of the sea, and must be 
destroyed. 

Day broke. In the increased light, the old 
man cast his lantern aside as useless and swung 
his arms as a semaphore. The yacht, buf- 
feted by the ttmibling seas, swept within 
hailing distance. Captain Ichabod yelled to 
the man who was at the tiller to keep her off. 
In answer, there came three shrill, pitifully 
wavering blasts of the whistle — a salute that 
was derisive, the absurd response of a mad- 



22 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

man. And the man at the wheel waved his 
hand in pleasant salutation and grinned in a 
most amiable manner. Captain Ichabod 
stared aghast. Then, he realized that the 
man at the helm must be a maniac. 

The yacht was in the breakers. The first 
wave spilled dear over her. Ichabod, watch- 
ing from the shore, shuddered. He believed 
her already lost in the coil of waters. But, 
to the Captain's amazement, the yacht eddied 
and tossed, dived and floated again. Then, 
at last, it was swept on the rocks. The hull 
broke in two under the impact, and the racing 
waves swept over the wreck. 

Out of the ruin of the yacht, the surge bore 
a mattress, on which rested the seemingly 
lifeless body of a beautiful young woman. 
Captain Ichabod saw the strange raft sweep 
toward the strand. He rushed to seize it, 
and pulled it beyond the power of the tide 
to snatch it back into the maw of the ocean. 
Thereafter, he worked over the girl to save 
her from death by drowning. 

It was a long time before she showed signs 
of life. But, after a time, the breast began 
to rise and fall in the perfect rhythm of 



AMONG THE BREAEEBS 2S 

health. Captain Ichabod, wild with anxiety, 
cotild hear the breathing of this woman whom 
he had saved from the sea. He was glad. 
He stood working over her in desperate 
haste. And then, presently, the lashes of 
the girl imdosed, and she stared wonderingly 
into the face of this old man, who stood over 
her with so much tenderness in his expression. 

The girl, suddenly arousing to consciousness, 
spoke anxiously: 

"Doctor, tell me, where am I?'* 

Ichabod felt himself embarrassed. He spoke 
emphatically. 

"No, Miss, I hain't no doctor — ^that is, 
I hain't no medical M.D., but folks says I'm 
a right smart o' a water doctor fer fever an' 
sich, but in yo'r case, I's a-takin' o' the water 
out instead o' puttin' it in or rubbin' it on, 
an' you lacks a heap o' havin' a fever, but 
arter I gits ye ter the shack I'll warm up yer 
little cold frame an' vitals with a swig o' 
brandy. That is, if ye has come to 'nough 
ter swaller." 

The young woman was now breathing nor- 
mally. The Captain raised her in his arms 
and bore her to the shack — across the thresh- 



24 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

old of which hitherto no woman's foot had 
stepped. The room was warm with the heat 
from the cook-stove, which had been left with 
the drafts open. He laid the girl on his bed, 
and then brought to her a glass of old brandy, 
salvaged years before from a wreck, and held 
intact by him dtiring all this time as if for 
just such an emergency. 

It was with difficulty that he aroused the 
victim of the wreck sufficiently to swallow 
the liquor, but in the end he was successful, 
Then he removed her outer garments, and 
wrapped her in woolen blankets. 

Yet, even after it was plain that the heart 
was working normally once again, since there 
was a deUcate flush showing in the girl's 
cheeks, the Captain was puzzled by the mental 
vagueness. She did not show any revival 
of intelligence, although she seemed to recover 
all her physical powers. He came to believe 
that she must have been injured on the head, 
by a blow from some bit of wreckage. But, 
though he went over her skull with deft fin- 
gers, he could find no trace of a bruise. He 
finally decided that her mental condition 
must be merely the result of the strain tmder- 



AMONG THE BREAKERS 26 

gone by her, and that it would be remedied 
by an interval of sleep. So, he tucked the 
blankets snugly about. her, and then left her 
alone, that he might see what could be done 
toward bringing the marooned skipper from 
his perilous place on the wrecked boat. 

While Captain Ichabod was busy with the 
rescue of the girl, there had come a lull in 
the storm. The wind had hauled around to 
the southwest, and was now blowing a stiff 
breeze off shore, which, taken together with 
the fast-ruiming tide still on the ebb, had 
caused the seas to lessen in the Inlet. Under 
these improved conditions, the Captain de- 
cided to make a try at relieving the casta- 
way from his sorry plight. 

He launched the red skiff, and set out to 
row toward the wreck. He was encouraged 
in the difficult task by the frantic gestures 
with which the victim of the storm called for 
succor. Captain Ichabod reflected grimly 
that this fellow who had disregarded his 
warnings must be plainly a maniac. Yet he 
was sufficiently sane to have a normal desire 
to be saved from death. He guessed that 
perhaps the yachtsman had been temporarily 



26 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

unbalanced in his mind when in the grip of 
the raging waters — ^then, afterward, had re- 
gained his self-control, and with it a whole- 
some desire to live. 

Captain Ichabod managed to bring the 
ddflf up under the lee of the wreck. He threw 
a rope to the man, and bade him make it fast. 
The order was obeyed. Ichabod then di- 
rected the yachtsman to collect his valuables 
and come aboard the skiff. The castaway 
lost no time in obeying. Presently, carrying 
a small black bag, he seated himself in the 
skis, and Ichabod turned the boat's nose 
toward the shore, and bent to the oars, in 
haste to get back to his patient, and so to 
complete his list of rescues for that eventful 
day. 

During the short interval of time constmied 
in going from the wreck to the Island, the 
stranger made anxious inquiries as to the 
fate of the girl. He had thought that she 
was dead. When he heard from Captain 
Ichabod that the girl still lived he was obvi- 
ously startled and surprised, but, too, he 
showed every symptom of intense pleasure. 
He displayed anxiety as to what the girl might 



AMONG THE BREAKERS 27 

have said. Then, when he learned that she 
had said nothing at all, he appeared greatly 
relieved. He seemed pleased to leam that 
she was still tinconscious. 

Ichabod, wonderingly, thought that he 
heard the stranger say: 

''Thank God!" 

The boat was no sooner beached than the 
man who had been rescued leaped ashore, 
still carrying in his hand the small physician's 
bag. He raced toward the cabin, as if he 
felt that life or death depended on his haste. 

Captain Ichabod suddenly felt very old 
and worn. He had used too much energy in 
this work of rescue, and now the reaction set 
in. He dawdled over the securing of the skiflf. 
Then he made his way with lagging steps 
toward the cabin. He pushed open the door, 
and was startled to behold the man he had 
rescued kneeling beside the couch of the girl. 
At the noise of the opening door, the man 
sprang to his feet. • • • Ichabod wondered 
as he glimpsed an object that shone like silver, 
and then was slipped cautiously into the 
man's coat pocket. 

Captain Ichabod approached the bed upon 



28 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

which the girl lay motionless. He noticed 
on the forearm a tiny drop of blood. He 
wondered also over this, then solved the ptizzle 
to his satisfaction by thinldng that a mos- 
quito had left this trace of its attack. He 
was confirmed in the opinion by the fact that 
there was a white blotdb beneath the touch of 
crimson. 

Captain Ichabod tried to question the man 
he had saved, but foimd every answer baf- 
fling and tmsatisfactory. The yachtsman re- 
fused any sort of information. His reticence 
angered the old man, and he at last spoke 
his mind freely, with something of suspicion 
engendered by a new thought concerning that 
curious drop of blood on the girl's arm. 

" She acts ter me like a woman chuck-er- 
block with Bateman Drops or opitim. A 
heap o' that kind o' truck is used by the 
women about these-here islands o' the Sound, 
an' I've seed a heap o' the effects o' it in the 
years past, but the good Lord knows it's a 
spell since Captain Icky has seed a woman 
a-hitten dope, as new-fangled folks calls it." 

The man who had been rescued by Icha- 
bod started violently as he heard the word 



AMONG THE BREAKERS 29 

"dope." He cast a probing glance on the 
old man, but spoke never a word. 

"Thar is one thing fer sartin," continued 
the fisherman, "if it hain't dope that is 
a'lin' o* her, it's somethin' that calls fer an 
M.D., an' if she hain't come to her senses in 
an hour, I'll put the rag on the skiff an' run 
up to Beaufort an' bring back Dr. Hudson to 
pass on the case. Thar has never been a 
death o' a human in Ichabod Jones' shack, 
an' Lord have mercy, the first passin' sha'n't 
be a woman!" 

The condition of the girl continued such 
that Ichabod felt it necessary to summon the 
physician. He must make the trip in his 
sailboat to Beaufort, the nearest town along 
the coast. The yachtsman now approved the 
idea. 

When Captain Ichabod went to make ready 
his boat for the trip to town, the yachtsman 
followed him, and then presently, walking 
down to where the wreckage had come ashore, 
proceeded to right and clear of debris a little 
cedar motor boat, which had come ashore 
from the wrecked yacht, practically unharmed, 
except that the batteries were wet. 



80 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

In the absence of Captain Ichabod, the 
stranger removed all the wire connections in 
this small boat, and placed the batteries 
over the stove to dry. When they were in 
fact thoroughly dried, he waited patiently 
for the departure of Captain Ichabod in search 
of a physician. Presently, the old man set 
out on his errand of mercy. The stranger 
yachtsman grinned derisively as he saw the 
boat slip into the smother of storm-tossed 
waters. 



CHAPTER III 
A New Calamity 

PERHAPS there is no point upon the 
Carolina coast where there is more 
interest shown in weather conditions 
than at Beaufort, the present terminus of 
the great inland water-route from Boston to 
the Gulf. There are vital reasons for this. 
First: a fleet of small fishing vessels makes 
this their home port. Hardly a family in 
the town that has not one or more of its mem- 
bers going to sea in the little craft. To be 
caught off shore in one of the West India 
hurricanes, which, at irregular intervals, touch 
this point, means almost certain destruction. 
Again: there is always danger to the low- 
lying town from a tidal wave. The town is 
built on flat groimd almost level with the 
surface of the water. There is no sea wall 
to keep off the angry waves. The dwellers 
in the town have learned their danger through 



82 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

dear experience in times past when the waves 
have swept over it, bringing desolation and 
death. 

Luckily, the storm that brought the stran- 
gers to Captain Ichabod Jones did not blow 
long enough from the southeast to cause 
severe damage to the town. Nor was there 
loss of life at sea. The masters of the fish- 
ing boats had seen the weather flags — ^angry 
red, with sullen black centers — ^flying from the 
signal mast. They had taken warning and 
remained in port through the time of tempest. 

When Uncle Icky roimded the point of 
marsh land, and headed his skiff for Beaufort, 
the eyes of the storm-boimd fishermen and 
the other lotmging natives gathered at the 
market wharf quickly espied the familiar 
patched rag of sail and were filled with won- 
der as to what could have tempted the old 
man from his snug Island out into the teeth 
of the gale. When he sped into the slip, 
there were many hands ready to grasp the 
hawser tossed to them by Captain Ichabod, 
and make it fast to a "pimchin." 

If the loungers had expected to hear some- 
thing startling, they were doomed to disap- 



A NEW CALAMITY 8S 

pointment. He had no time then to stop and 
gossip with friends. He hurried on, with an 
air of unaccustomed self-importance on ac- 
count of the serious nature of his mission. He 
was in quest of Dr. Hudson, a great-hearted 
man, who had spent the best years of his life 
in ministering to the ills of these fisherfolk. 
They, in their turn, looked upon him with a 
feeling of grateful fondness, tinctured with 
awe — so miraculous to them seemed many 
of his cures. And, too, they honored him 
for the msxmeT in which he did his duty 
toward them. Never a night too black, 
never a storm too high, for him to fare forth 
for the relief of suffering. Latterly, however, 
he had felt the weight of work over much, had 
felt perhaps as well the burden of advancing 
years. He bad so contrived that a yoimg 
medical graduate opened up a practise in 
the neighborhood. He had adroitly used the 
influence of suggestion so diplomatically that 
most of the chronic cases — ^those that took 
comfort in telling of their maladies, in detail- 
ing their symptoms to unwilling listeners — 
had gladly availed themselves of the new 
treatment offered by the young physician. 



34 WHEN THE COCK CEOWS 

In this way, the old Doctcwr was spared a 
tedious and unnecessary routine of labor, yet 
was left free for such urgent calls as might 
come to him, 

Ichabod found the physician at home, and 
declared: 

''Thar's sick folks at my shack what need^ 
ye an' needs ye bad," 

The doctor was aware that Ichabod's sole 
companion in the shack was the rooster. 
Knowing also the Captain's fondness for the 
Dominick, he was inclined to be suspicious 
that this call for his services was as a veter- 
inary. 

''I suppose," he said, "your Shrimp has the 
pip." Then, of a sudden, he guessed some- 
thing of the truth. He spoke anxiously. 
** There hasn't been a wreck, has there?" 

"Right ye air. Doctor, there has been a 
fool shipwreck on my oyster rocks. The 
captain of the ship an' his mate air at the 
shack this very minute. He's batty as a 
toad arter swaUerin' shot. An' she's outter 
her haid — ^leastways she ain't got sense 'nough 
left ter talk." 
i^ In answer to questions, Ichabod gave a full 



A NEW CALAMITY 35 

narrative of what had occurred, telling all 
the events in his own quaint fashion, to all 
of which Doctor Hudson listened with the 
closest attention. 

His comment was crisp. 

"It sounds like whisky — ^more likely, mor- 
phia. I reckon it's my duty to go." As a 
matter of fact, the physician's curiosity had 
been aroused. He was professionally anxious 
to get at a solution of the mystery. He hur- 
riedly changed his clothes in preparation for 
the rough voyage to Ichabod's Island, and 
equipped himself with the old, worn leather 
bag stocked with medicines, which, for years, 
had been a familiar sight throughout the 
whole region in every household where dis- 
ease came to terrify and destroy. 

*' Hurry, Ichabod," the Doctor cried. " We'll 
shake a leg, or the tide'll be running against 
us." 

Ichabod's skiff was tailed to the physician's 
little latmch. The motor power made the 
voyage to the Island swift, although it was 
rough, even to the point of danger on account 
of the storm-driven waters. When they had 
made fast at the landing, the two hurried to 



36 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

the shack. The door was swinging wide. 
But to their amazement and dismay not even 
Shrimp was there to give them welcome. 
The place was utterly deserted. The visitors 
so strangely cast up from the sea had vanished 
as mysteriously as they had come. There 
was the bed on which the girl had been lying 
— now it was empty. Not even a vestige of 
her clothing remained to prove that she was 
more than the figment of a crazed brain. 
Ichabod stared about him with distended 
eyes. He could make no guess as to the 
meaning of the strange thing that had be- 
fallen. Then, abruptly, his dazed mind was 
aroused to a new calamity. . . . Shrimp, too, 
was gone ! 

Presently, Ichabod looked for the yacht's 
tender, and foimd it likewise gone. He was 
able to understand in some measure what 
had occurred. The batteries had been dried 
by the hot stove in the shack, and — ^the little 
craft thus restored to running condition — 
the man had undoubtedly fled with the girl. 
And with them Shrimp had voyaged. A 
sudden overwhelming desolation fell on the 
old man. He had been through much that 



A NEW CALAMITY 87 

day. He had been strained to the utmost 
resources of his energies. And he was an old 
man. He had small reserves of force with 
which to meet the unexpected. Now, he 
felt himself bewildered over all the strange 
happenings. And there was something more. 
The one constant companion of his lonely 
life was Shrimp — ^and Shrimp, too, had fled 
from him. 

The Doctor, very much ptizzled over this 
absence of an expected patient, started to 
leave the shack. He halted at the head of 
the steps, and looked down in a bewilderment 
touched with pity. 

For Ichabod was on his knees before the 
steps of his own house, and his form was 
shaken with the sobbings of despair. 



CHAPTER IV 
Under the After Awning 

SIDEWALKS along Fifth Avenue were 
packed with persons of all national- 
ities, representatives of every variety 
of industrial activity in the life of the City. 
There was a reviewing stand erected in front 
of the massive library that displayed its lines 
of architectural beauty in place of the sloping, 
age-gray walls of the old reservoir at Bryant 
Square. City officials and families of officers 
in the troops soon to pass were assembled 
there to witness this march of soldiers on their 
way to entrain for the Mexican border. They 
were filled with the zeal of patriots, because 
their comrades had been foully killed on that 
same border by a treacherous foe, and they 
were being sent to avenge that insult against 
the life and dignity of their nation. 

Came the rhythmic beat of feet on the 
pavement; came the blare of the band. The 

38 



UNDER THE AFTER AWNING 80 

two swung together into a harmony of march- 
ing. These boys, ordered to the front, were 
going, steadfastly, as in duty bound. They 
loved this "send-oflf." They marched with 
vigor in their steps, because t^ thousand 
handkerchiefs waved £rom the windows along 
the line of march. 

On the sidewalks was assembled a strange 
crowd. There were the stenographers taking 
their noonday outing. Many were carefully 
over-powdered and perfumed. They were 
dressed after the latest fashion — a long way 
after it! 

But the Midinettes were a very small pro- 
portion of those wild to see the real soldiers. 

All New York had heard the troops were 
to march that day. And all New York 
turned out to see the regiments. 

There are a myriad phases of metropolitan 
life. Those phases were illustrated that day 
in the crowds along the line of march. The 
bulk of those clustering at the curb were of a 
sort eager for a free show. In the cotmtless 
loft buildings bordering the avenue were 
hordes of men and women too busy in earning 
a pitiful wage to think of anything so f riv- 



40 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

olous as a procession, with banners waving 
and bands playing. But while these had no 
thought of marching troops, there were in- 
numerable others. For New York is a city 
gigantic. Within it are hosts. Some of these 
always are idle. Some, always eager for the 
free show of the streets. 

So, to-day, when the troops are to march by 
with shrill of fife and blatant noise of band, 
the multitude comes scunying, curious to 
see, patriotic with the emotional patriotism 
of one just become a citizen of a free country, 
where before he was the unrecognized and 
unhonored subject of despotism, from which 
he fled in search of liberty. 

New York is a city of millions. It is the 
biggest city on earth. It is the melting pot 
of nations. The crowd that lines the curb 
is of one sort. There is another sort marching 
the length of the avenue. And this is a mix- 
ture to bewilder any beholder. A cotmtry- 
man from New Jersey, with his wife and chil- 
dren comes to-day for this splendid free show 
of the troops that are to march; the coim- 
trymen from the reaches of New York along 
the Hudson, with the same purpose; his 



UNDER THE AFTER AWNING 41 

fellows from Long Island, from Connecticut. 
With these alien figtires, treading the principal 
city street of the world, are others. Those 
who walk there daily walk there again to-day. 
The clubman, coated, hatted, gloved to per- 
fection, takes his accustomed stroll on the 
avenue, and looks with contemptuous dis- 
gust on the crowd that forces him to walk 
gingerly where usually he struts as a master. 
He, too, is a patriot and he means to see the 
march of the troops, and to applaud it — ^but 
from his club window, if ever he is able to 
make his way there through the perspiring 
congestion of the motley crowd. 

There is a crew of money-makers, busy 
along the avenue on an occasion such as this. 
These are hordes of itinerant merchants 
moving up and down with things to sell to 
the crowd. They oflfer canes and instruments 
of noise that by a twist of the wrist make a 
horrible din. Expecially, they offer American 
flags — ^bigger or smaller according to the pur- 
chaser's taste and purse. These are bought 
with eagerness by the crowd, and the fakers 
reap a harvest from the enthusiasm of those 
assembled to witness the marching soldiers. 



42 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

The boy with a box is dominant. Wherever 
a short, but eager watcher stands to look, the 
boy comes, with his offer of a box to stand on, 
a box to sit on, as the purchaser may please, 
for the nominal cost of ten cents. Always, one 
finds at hand this boy, with the box that he 
offers for your sitting or for your feet, as you 
will. One box bought, he shows another, offer- 
ing it for sale. Whence he comes with boxes so 
multitudinous none may guess. But he goes 
away with nickles and dimes enough perhaps 
to provide an income that will continue over 
until another day of parade. 

In the reviewing stand, there was seated 
a girl who watched the marching troops with 
an intentness that had in it something of 
desperation, something of despair. Yet, as 
the soldiers passed, she gave them little heed. 
She was always looking toward those advanc- 
ing, as if in search for something that meant 
more to her than this moving mass of 
troops. 

A band passed. Behind it, at the head of 
his men, rode Colonel Marion. As he came 
opposite the reviewing stand, his eyes swept 
over the crowd seated on the tiers of benches. 



UNDER THE AFTER AWNING 43 

They rested on the face of the girl, who had 
been so anxiously watching. He smiled and 
saluted. The girl — ^his daughter Ethel — 
waved her handkerchief eagerly in response. 
Then she turned, and spoke to the young man 
who sat beside her. There was love, touched 
with reverence, in her voice. 

"Isn't Daddy splendid!" 

Her companion, Roy Morton, answered 
with sincerity, in which was a tincture of 
irrepressible bitterness. 

"He's every inch a soldier." 

The bitterness came from the fact that a 
broken tendon — ^received during his last foot- 
ball fight for Yale — disqualified him for mil- 
itary service, for which he longed more than 
ever in this hour when he saw the girl beside 
him so thrilled by the pomp of war, when he 
saw her pride and exultation in the military 
bearing of the father she revered. He felt 
that he must seem a slacker in her eyes, even 
though she knew that no fault of his own kept 
him at home, while others marched away to 
serve their countay. 

For Roy loved Ethel and his chief desire 
always was to show perfect in her eyes. For 



44 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

that matter, he was successftil enough, since 
the girl loved him. Their troth was plighted, 
and in due time they would be married with 
the full approval of Colonel Marion, who both 
liked and respected his prospective son-in- 
law. So, in preparation for his own absence 
from home on military service, he strictly 
charged Roy to watch over Ethel and guard 
her from any possible peril. It was only a 
father's instinctive act in protection of his 
child. As a matter of fact, what danger 
could by any possibility threaten the well- 
being of this Ethel, who would remain living 
quietly in her father's New York house, 
along with the elderly cousin who acted as 
chaperon to the motherless girl, and the staff 
of old and faithful servants? 

During the summer weeks that followed the 
departure of her father, Ethel lived happily 
enough, content with a routine of life that 
included entertainments of the usual social 
sort and especially the almost constant com- 
pany of her lover. 

One of her favorite diversions was a visit 
to her father's yacht, which lay at its moor- 
ings oflE Eighty-fourth Street in the North 



UNDER THE AFTER AWNING 45 

River. There was only a caretaker left on 
board during the Colonel's absence, but 
Ethel was fond of spending an afternoon 
in solitary enjoyment on the yacht. Under 
the after awning she would sit at ease in the 
low wicker chair, by turns reading, watching 
the ceaseless traffic of the river, musing on 
love and happiness — ^which meant, always, 
Roy. 

Came a day when Roy was summoned home 
by the illness of his mother. Ethel went with 
him to the station and saw him off. It was 
long after noon when she had given the 
last word of farewell and the last kiss of ten- 
derness to her lover. Ethel thought that she 
would like to seek the repose of the yacht 
for a period of tranquil meditation in the 
luxurious depths of her favorite chair under 
the after awning. 

She rode to the dock in a taxicab, and the 
yacht's tender took her to the vessel. It was 
just then that a great steamer passed, and as 
she would have mounted the stairs to the 
yacht's deck an unexpected swell from the 
passing steamer smote the stairs so violently 
that Ethel was thrown back into the boat 



46 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

she had jtist left, with an ankle crushed under 
her own weight. 

The girl realized that it was badly sprained. 
She gave orders that she should be carried on 
board the yacht forthwith. She decided then 
that she would send home for whatever 
might be needed — ^and, too, for the family 
physician. 

With the assistance of the caretaker she 
managed to reach her cabin, and then sent 
the fellow to bring the physician in all haste. 
She pulled off her outer garments and donned 
a kimono, and crawled into her berth, to 
await the Doctor's coming. 

It was within the hour that the little tender 
came back toward the yacht, carrying a 
passenger. 

This was Doctor Gifford Garnet, the fam- 
ily physician. He htirried up the companion 
way, and went at once to his patient's state- 
room. A very short examination stiflBced. 
He saw the girl was suffering excruciating 
pain from the injury to her ankle. 

The physician himself was a victim of 
morphia. And, too, he was a man of imag- 
ination — a most dangerous quality in one 



UNDER THE AFTER AWNING 47 

of his profession. Now, as he regarded the 
girl, he realized the intense suffering caused 
to her by the wrenched tendons in the ankle. 
That thought of suffering sickened his sensi- 
tive nature, so that he felt an emotion almost 
of nausea from the pain he knew her to be 
endtaring. . . . And he was a coward. Pain 
had come to him often. Because he was a 
coward, he had fled from it — ^interposing 
morphia as a shield against its attack. So, 
now, in sjnnpathy for the anguish endured 
by the girl he turned to the drug to give her 
relief from suffering. He made an injection 
into Ethel's arm. . . . The girl watched his 
movement with listless eyes. Then she sighed 
and smiled as she felt the gentle sting of the 
needle. At once she sank into an untroubled 
sleep. 

Dr. Garnet regarded her for a moment with 
a curiously contemplative stare. Then he 
grinned grimly, pulled up his coat and shirt- 
sleeve, and pressed the piston of the hypo- 
dermic, driving a heavier charge of the drug 
into his own blood. 

One minute he spent in deft examination 
of the injured ankle, then bandaged it. After- 



48 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

ward, he left the girl, and went up on deck, 
where he stood staring through long minutes 
toward the fleecy masses of cumulus clouds 
that lay along the New Jersey horizon. 



CHAPTER V 
A Prisoner of Morphia 

IT was mid-forenoon of the following day 
when Ethel awoke from the profoimd 
sleep superinduced by the drug. It was 
with a vast astonishment that her startled 
eyes took in the surroimdings of the state- 
room. There was a blank wall straight oppo- 
site her widely gazing eyes, where should 
have stood a dressing table of Circassian wal- 
nut, topped by the long oval mirror always 
ready to show her the reflected loveliness of 
her face. And there should have been also 
lying exposed on the polished surface of the 
table an orderly and beautiful array of those 
things that make for a woman's beauty — 
the creams that cleanse a skin too delicate 
for the harsh water poured from city mains; 
in a gold-topped bottle a lotion for the hair, 
delicate and effective; in dainty phials es- 

49 



60 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

sences of perfume, subtle, yet curiously per- 
vasive, with the fragrance of joyous spring- 
time. Indeed, a medley of the arts evolved 
through the ages for the perfecting of that 
beauty, which, after all, is God-given — a 
thing not to be attained by the pro- 
cesses of even the most skilled beauty- 
doctors, • • . 

But Ethel possessed the thing itself. To 
her the accessories were but absurdities — 
tmnecessary and wanton, means whereby to 
emphasize a natural loveliness. 

There should have been a glimmer of pure 
white light from the back of a hair brush, 
lying on the dressing table. Ethel had loved 
the purity of that ivory surface. She had 
loved it so much that she refused to have it 
broken by the superimposition upon it of 
initials wrought cleverly in silver or gold or 
platinum. That brush meant so much to 
her! Night by night, she toiled with it. 
After she had tmdone the masses of her bronze- 
gold hair, she worked over them, with a syba- 
ritical, meticulous care. 

She was used to sitting in negligee and 
having her maid brush the strands. That 



A PRISONER OF MORPHIA 61 

brushing made the hair resplendent. . . • 
Now, Ethel looked — ^there was no dressing 
table — ^no mirror — ^nothing, of the sort that 
she was accustomed to see when she awoke 
in the morning. 

She thought again of her own bedroom at 
home. She was minded to take her bath, 
which must be drawn and waiting. . . . And 
then, suddenly, that blank wall there 
before her eyes hammered upon her con- 
sciousness. 

She was stricken with a curious sense of 
horror in this instant of realization that she 
was in some unknown place — ^absolutely apart 
from the dear, familiar things of home. 

For a few horrid instants that shock of a 
vague terror pressed upon her like a destroy- 
ing incubus. 

A moment later, recollection thronged upon 
her. She remembered everything — ^the com- 
ing to the yacht, the fall, the wrenched ankle, 
the arrival of the physician, the almost dainty 
pain of the needle thrust into her flesh. And 
then Ethel began to thmk that it would be 
pleasant to be an invalid on board the yacht 
for a long time. It would need only a judi- 



52 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

dous selection of guests to make a voyage the 
most agreeable of diversions. 

Just then she was startled into a new emo- 
tion. She realized the rhythmic beating of 
the engines. . . . The yacht was already 
under way. 

For a little, Ethel was too stunned by the 
shock of surprise to take action. To her, it 
was inconceivable that the yacht should be 
thus voyaging. It should be still lying at 
anchor in the North River. Her father could 
have given no orders for its sailing. She had 
not. There was no one else with authority 
to command the movements of the craft. It 
should be lying at anchor in its berth. . . . 
But it was not. There was the pulse from 
the engines, the gentle swing of the hull to 
prove that a journey was begun. A journey — 
whither or wherefore she could not even 
guess. 

Ethel put her feet out of the berth, and 
winced with pain from the movement of the 
injtired ankle. But she set her teeth in grim 
determination, and stood up, putting her 
weight on the soimd foot. Then she hobbled 
to the port, and looked out. She saw the 



A PRISONER OF MORPHIA 68 

highlands of New Jersey slipping gently 
past. She recognized the lightship. There 
was no longer room for doubt. The yacht 
had put to sea. 

Ethel remained staring out of the port-hole 
for a long hour, during which the New Jersey 
coast unrolled a panorama of varied loveliness. 
And throughout all that hour, the girl was in a 
maze of wonder over this thing that had be- 
fallen. She could make no guess as to the 
meaning of it all. She fotmd herself dazed 
by the unexpected situation. Yet, a certain 
instinct warned her of danger. She did not 
in the least understand the nature of the 
peril, the cause of it, the effect. But some- 
how a subconscious intelligence guided her to 
the realization that this inexplicable situation 
was fraught with portents of evil. Her 
fear sharpened when she found that the 
door of the stateroom was locked from the 
outside. 

Moving with care that she might not cause 
herself more pain by strain in the injured 
ankle, she looked for and found a pencil and 
a sheet of paper, on which she scribbled a note 
to her lover. 



54 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 



41 



Mr. Roy Morton, 
"Birchwood Camp, 
"Nahassane, N. Y. 

"Dearest Roy: 

"I fell and injured my ankle and concluded 
to stay aboard The Isabel under the care of 
Dr. Garnet. I awoke this morning and to my 
surprise, found the yacht headed down the 
New Jersey coast. I tried to go on deck. I 
found I had been locked in my stateroom. . . . 
Boat still headed south. Come to my 
rescue! 

"I am going to place this note in a face- 
powder can. I see ahead a fisherman's boat. 
It is near enough for me to attract its atten- 
tion. I shall throw the can near the boat, 
with the hope that the fisherman will open it 
and find this note. We are heading toward 
the Ddaware Capes. 

*'Love to you and father, 

"Ethel Marion." 

She folded the note and scrawled a few 
words on the outside very hurriedly, for they 
were now almost abreast the fleet of fishing 
yawls. 



A FmSONEB OF MORPHIA 55 



<l 



Mr. Fisherman, I am a prisoner on my own 
yacht. Please help me and telegraph this 
letter to Mr. Morton's address." She 
crammed the bit of paper into the can from 
which she had emptied the powder. She 
thrust her head out of the port and uttered a 
shrill cry to attract the attention of the 
fisherman. Then she threw the can with all 
force toward the nearest boat. 

Ethel watched in a mood of half hope, half 
despair. She saw the can fall into the sea. 
But one of the fishermen also observed the 
container of her message as it was thrown into 
the water. Ethel, watching with strained 
eyes, perceived the figxire of a man in oilskins 
who suddenly thrust a boat-hook overboard, 
fished Yidth it for a moment, then drew along- 
side the tin can, bent over, and picked it out 
of the water. . . . The girl thrilled with 
relief over the success of her attempt to send 
news of the trouble come upon her. 

Nevertheless, there was, there could be, no 
immediate effect of the message. The engine 
of the yacht throbbed steadily, canning her 
moment by moment further from home and 
lover and father and friends, to a destination 



56 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

unknown — a. destination fraught by imagina- 
tion Yidth unguessed horrors. 

Suddenly, Ethel forgot all the difficulties 
of this strange situation in a realization of 
the fact that she was hungry — ^atrociously 
hungry ! It dawned upon her that she had not 
eaten a single morsel of food since the lunch- 
eon of the previous day. She realized then 
that she was entirely dependent upon her 
unknown captor, even for food to keep her 
body alive. 

The distraught girl thought of the locked 
stateroom door, and was made frantic by the 
fact that she was thus shut in, a prisoner. 
She stared longingly at the small, round port- 
hole. She regarded that swinging window of 
heavy plate glass with an anxiety of desire 
that thrilled through every atom of her blood. 
She wondered: Could she by any chance 
thrust her slender body through that narrow 
aperture? She even went so far as to measure 
the width of the disc — comparing the space to 
her own slender breadth of shoulders. 

She thought that it might be possible for 
her to thrust her lithe form through the 
meager opening. She believed that she could 



A PRISONER OF MORPHIA 57 

push her body through the port-hole. She 
dared to hope that she might thus escape. 
Down below was the runway used by the 
sailors. It seemed to her that the matter of 
escape would be simple. 

Her hunger urged Ethel to make the des- 
perate attempt. She was sure that could she 
once reach the runway she would be safe 
from detection on the part of the one directing 
the course of the craft from the pilot-house. 
She had heard no noise from the galley, which 
was near her room. She was certain that 
it was unoccupied, and that she could slip 
into it unnoticed, there to satisfy her longing 
for food from the abundant supply of canned 
goods. Then, after relieving her hunger, she 
could determine her future conduct. She 
might decide to act th6 brave part by showing 
herself and demanding to know the cause of 
her confinement; or she might return in the 
way by which she had come to the stateroom, 
with a supply of food, and thus await develop- 
ments. 

The distracted girl took a full hour for 
consideration of the matter. Betimes, she 
was bold to the point of desperation; be- 



58 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

times, she was flaccid with despair, helpless 
before the mysteriotis horrors of her situation. 
But at last courage rose in her, became dom- 
inant. She resolved to msLke the attempt at a 
descent through the opening. Now, she was 
not in the least intimidated by the very real 
danger of being tmable to secure safe footing 
upon the narrow runway. The deck below 
was Yidthout a solid rail. It had only the 
light hand rail vidth an open space beneath, 
through which her body might easily pltmge 
into the sea. Moreover, the peril of the 
exploit was increased for her by the fact 
of her injtired ankle, which must make 
her footing awkward and tmsteady at the 
best. - ^v 

Ethel f otmd some comfort on a final exam- 
ination of the injured ankle. The swelling 
from the sprain had lessened very percep- 
tibly. She discovered, too, that now she 
could bend the joint a little without experienc- 
ing the excruciating pain which such move- 
ment had produced before she lost conscious- 
ness from the effect of the opiate. The fact 
that the injury was not so severe as she had 
thought and that she could at least depend 



A PRISONER OP MORPHIA 59 

upon the htirt member for some support, 
painful though it might be, heartened her 
anew. Without further pause for reasonings 
pro and con, she began to force her body 
thfdugh the opening. ^^ 

The berth was so located that by placing 
her sound foot upon the edge of it she was 
able to thrust the upper part of her body out 
of the port-hole. But this aid would not 
serve for the remainder of the progress. To 
get her hips through, she would have to de- 
pend on being able to seize the hand rail 
and thus pull herself outward and downward. 
She had no fear of being caught midway and 
held fast, for her measurements had proved 
that her shoulders were a trifle broader than 
her hips. The danger would lie in getting a 
firm grip with her hands on the rail and in the 
subsequent swinging down of her body to the 
tmy width of the runway. Now, as she 
lunged forward, she held her hands out- 
stretched, as if she were about to dive into 
the sea. In this moment of stress she thanked 
God for the strictness viHith which her father 
had insisted on athletic training. She knew 
that her eye was keen and accurate, that her 



60 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

mtisdes were strong, ready with instant re- 
sponse to the commands of will. 

But, to her dismay, Ethel found that, not- 
withstanding measurements, her shoulders 
would not pass through the opening. She 
writhed in fruitless endeavor imtil she was 
exhausted by the strain. Finally, she gave 
up the attempt and drew back into the cabin, 
utterly downcast by her failure. Then, when 
she was somewhat refreshed, she tested the 
accuracy of her measurements. To her as- 
tonishment she found that she had made no 
mistake. The port-hole was in fact a little 
wider than her shoulders. For a time she 
was puzzled by the mystery of it all. Then, 
suddenly, understanding came to her. She 
realized that the outstretching of her arms 
had caused a lifting and consequent broaden- 
ing of the shoulders. Once again hope filled 
her. She repeated her attempt, but now 
with arms dropped close to her sides. She 
thrilled vdth delight as her shoulders slid 
easily through the opening. 

Then, in the next instant, the joy vanished. 
In its place came stark terror. For she f oimd 
herself held motionless, when half way through 



A PRISONER OP MORPHIA 61 

the port-hole, with her arms bound fast by 
the pressure. She struggled violently, but 
to no avail. She was caught prisoner with a 
ruthless firmness that could not be escaped. 
Her frantic strivings did not budge her body 
the fraction of an inch either forward or back- 
ward. Indeed, it seemed that her futile 
endeavors to free herself only succeeded in 
wedging her more securely. She fancied that 
her own physical violence was causing her 
body to swell so that it should be gripped 
more fiercely by the imyielding circumfer- 
ence of the window. There flashed on her a 
memory of how once she had tried on a friend's 
ring, had tried it on a finger too large; of 
how she had pushed it down easily enough 
over the joint; of how she could not push it 
back again. She remembered how the finger 
had swiftly swollen until the ring was deep 
sunken in the reddened flesh. Now, she 
imagined her body, caught within the metal rim 
of the port-hole, was thus reddened and swollen. 
Her plight filled her with anguish. The dread 
of it made her forget in this new, overmaster- 
ing fear all that she had so greatly dreaded 
hitherto. . . . Her voice broke in a scream: 



62 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

''Help! Oh, help! Help!'' 

Almost instantly, as her voice ceased, Ethel 
heard the sound of hurrying feet on the deck 
above. She twisted her neck to look upward, 
and saw the pleasantly smiling face of Doctor 
Gifford Garnet, as he peered over the hurri- 
cane rail. In that moment of relief, the girl 
welcomed the familiar countenance of the 
family physician. She had no thought for 
the ctmning smile that answered to her an- 
guished appeal. She realized only that here 
was one to succor her in her extremity. She 
called out to him imploringly: 

"Oh, Doctor, help me please. I am caught 
here. My body is swelling, I think. You 
must get me out at once or I shall die. Oh, 
hurry!" 

The Doctor grinjied at her with sardonic 
enjoyment of her predicament. But his bland 
words soothed her alarm: 

"I come to your rescue with all speed, Miss 
Ethel. Never fear, little one, you will soon 
be quite safe. I hasten to relieve your suf- 
fering." 

He vanished. Then, a few seconds later, 
she saw him making his way along the nm- 



A PRISONER OF MORPHIA 6S 

way. She did not see the hypodermic syringe 
he carried in his left hand. She did not un- 
derstand even when he came to her, and put 
his two hands to her shoulders as if to help 
her. She felt the sting of pain in her right 
arm, but thought it no more than the twinge 
of a strained muscle. Doctor Garnet deftly 
slipped the hjrpodermic syringe into his pocket 
without the girl's observing it. He spoke to 
her gently, encouragingly, awaiting the action 
of the drug. Then, a few moments later, 
Ethel's lids drooped, her form grew limp, her 
head lolled to the slight swaying of the yacht. 
She was held now in a clutch more terrible 
and more relentless than that of the metal 
band about her body. She was the hapless 
prisoner of morphia. Dr. Garnet stared into 
the face of the imconscious girl for a long half 
nninute, with a curious gloating in his gaze. 
Then, abruptly, he strode away, and as he 
went he chuckled softly, with infinite relish 
over some evil jest known only to himself. 



CHAPTER VI 
Hunting a Clue 

THE Morton camp was not unlike other 
Adirondack camps owned by the 
wealthy New Yorker. It consisted 
of vast acres of wonderful forests, where con- 
ifers and hard wood intermingled. Through 
the tract wandered a pellucid trout stream. 
At a glance, one would know that those waters 
were teeming with wonderful trout, that 
many a big fellow of the finny tribe inhabited 
the depths that waited for the angler's lure. 

The comfortable camp, built of rough-hewn 
logs with low sloping roof overhanging broad 
verandas, was built upon a bluff immediately 
above and overlooking the home of the most 
elusive, the most splendid speckled beauties — 
the trout that are the most savory on the 
table and the gamest in the water. 
This morning, Roy Morton was well con- 

64 



HUNTING A CLUE 65 

tent with the world. It was late summer, 
and something of the languor^of the season 
cotirsed in his blood. He sat on the porch, 
watching idly the dimpling waters below in a 
pool. He had an eager eye for the occasional 
leap of a trout to the surface in search of prey. 
He watched appreciatively the glint of rain- 
bow tints on the iridescent sides as the fish 
rose and the sunlight showed all its splendor. 
While he gazed, at intervals, Roy worked on 
his fisherman's tackle. As the trout leaped, 
he studied that for which they leaped — ^with 
an idea of fashioning flies to suit their ca- 
pricious taste. He finally determined just 
the fly that he should use for a cast at this 
hour of the day in order to entice the appetite 
of the trout. He had that particular fly upon 
his leader in readiness for a. cast, and had 
started toward the stream to test his judgment 
in playing on the appetite of a fish, when his 
attention was distracted by the approach of 
an ungainly boy, evidently a native. 

The boy held in his hand a telegrai!n. Roy 
dropped his tackle, and held out his hand for 
the message. Mechanically, he tossed a coin 
to the lad. Then he ripped open the envelope 



66 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

and read the message. . . . And he read 
there Ethel's frantic appeal for help. 

Roy was equally amazed and alarmed as he 
read and its meaning penetrated his brain. 
Usually, he was a young man distinguished 
for his coolness, resourcefulness and courage. 
Now, however, for the time being his brain 
was dazed; his heart leaped with fear. 
Through long minutes he stood motionless, 
staring with unseeing eyes, as if striving in 
vain to penetrate the veil of this terrible 
mystery that hung between him and the girl 
he loved. His thoughts were a miserable 
whirl of confusion; his will was powerless to 
marshal them in order. He did not note the 
going of the messenger boy, who satmtered 
casually back over the way he had come, 
whistling in happy unconsciousness as to the 
suffering of which he had been the harbinger. 

Then, presently, Roy's mind cleared; his 
heart grew brave again; he felt a frantic 
desire for instant action. He looked about 
for the messenger boy, and uttered an exclama- 
tion of anger as he saw that the fellow was 
gone. He was desirous of sending on that 
very instant a telegram to the police authori- 



HUNTING A CLUE 67 

ties in New York, asking them to begin an 
investigation at once. He shouted for the 
boy, but there was no answer, and he realized 
that the messenger was gone beyond recall. 

Roy wheeled, and rushed into the house. 
He ordered a horse saddled, and within five 
minutes was galloping at breakneck speed for 
the station. He knew that the next regular 
train was not due for three hours, but he had 
decided without any hesitation that he would 
order a special. He felt that no haste could 
eqtial the necessity now when Ethel was 
momently being carried further and further 
away from him, when perhaps her life, her 
honor, were imperilled by the scotmdrels 
who had her in their keeping. 

On his arrival at the station, Roy issued his 
orders with a crisp air of authority that won 
instant obedience from the man who served 
as station master and telegraph operator. 
The telegraph key sounded busily for a few 
minutes, and the matter was arranged. A 
special would be ready for him within an 
hour. This would get him to Albany in time 
to make connection with the limited express 
for New York. 



68 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

That ax^complished, Roy cantered leisurely 
back to the camp. As he rode, his mind was 
concentrated on plans for his future course. 
He resolved to keep the matter secret from 
his elderly mother, who was by no means in 
good health. Instead, he would merely tell 
her that a friend of his was in trouble, and 
that he must go inmiediately to New York, 
in order to straighten out the affair. His 
mother accepted his explanation without any 
suspicion that he had told her only a half- 
truth. She merely mourned over this inter- 
ruption of his visit, and made him promise to 
return at the earliest possible moment. Roy 
felt shame over the subterfuge with which he 
had deceived his mother, but he knew that 
it was necessary for her own sake, while her 
knowledge of Ethel's plight could do no good. 

Roy hastily, but methodically, packed his 
traveling bag, and then, after an affectionate 
farewell to his mother, stepped into the town 
wagon, and was driven to the station. *" 

After reaching the station, Roy occupied the 
short interval of waiting for the special by 
writing out two messages, which he had put 
on the wire to New York. The first of these 



HUNTING A CLUE 69 

was addressed to the Collector of the Port, 
asking whether or not clearance papers had 
been taken out for The Isabel. The other 
telegram was to the most noted detective 
agency in the city, which contained a request 
that their best operative should meet him at 
the arrival of his train in the Grand Central 
Terminal. He directed that the replies, in 
each instance, should be sent to him at Albany, 
in care of the limited train with which he 
would make connection there. 

The second message was barely completed 
and delivered to the telegrapher when the 
special roared to a standstill by the station 
platform. Roy sprang quickly up the steps, 
and almost before he had entered the car the 
locomotive was again snorting on its way. 

The loungers about the station watched 
greedily this unexpected interruption of the 
day's routine. And, too, there was bitter 
envy in their hearts directed toward this 
handsome, young aristocrat, who could thus 
summon a train for his private pleasure. 
They could not guess anything of the black 
misery that marked the mood of the young 
man whom they deemed so favored of fate. 



70 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Roy's impatience was such that he cotdd 
not sit for a minute at a time. Instead, he 
strode to and fro with the feverish intensity 
of a leopard padding swiftly backward and 
forward in its cage. So he moved restlessly, 
though walking in the car was none too easy. 
There was need of haste if the special would 
catch the limited express at Albany. It was 
evident that the engineer and fireman had no 
mind to fail, in the task set for them. The 
fireman gave steam a plenty, and the engineer 
made use of it with seemingly reckless prod- 
igality. The car swayed and leaped with the 
excessive speed. On the curves, sometimes, 
it appeared as if it must be thrown off the 
track, and Roy was compelled to ding fast 
to his seat in order to avoid falling. But he 
felt no distress over the rocking, lurching 
progress. Rather, he found a grim joy in it, 
since it was haste, and always more haste, 
for which he longed. . . . And then, at last, 
the special thundered into the Albany sta- 
tion and clanged to a standstill. Roy breathed 
a sigh of relief. The limited express had not 
yet pulled in. 

He had time to make inquiry concerning 



HUNTING A CLUE 71 

• 

telegrams, and found one awaiting him from 
the Collector of the Port of New York. This 
simply stated that no papers had been issued 
for the clearing of the yacht Isabel. The 
message added that if the vessel had sailed 
it must have been stolen. Just as he finished 
the reading of this dispatch, the operator 
handed him a second telegram — one from the 
detective agency. It annotmced that their 
best operative would meet him in the ter- 
minal at the gate on the arrival of the limited 
express in New York. There was a direction 
added to the effect that the operative might 
be recognized by his standing apart from the 
crowd and wearing two white carnations in 
the lapel of his coat. 

Arriving at the Grand Central terminal, Roy 
walked rapidly to the exit gate. His eyes 
roamed for a moment over the passing throng 
in search of the man' with the boutonni^re of 
white carnations, and presently picked him 
out where he stood a little apart. Roy hur- 
ried to him, and made himself known. At 
once then the two men left the station and 
crossed over to the Biltmore, where they took 
seats in the lobby for a conference. 



72 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Jack Scott, the detective, had won fame for 
his agency by his masterly work in solving 
the problems of many skilful jewel robberies 
among the wealthy residents of the metropolis. 
He yet lacked some years of thirty, but his 
reputation was already of the highest among 
those who knew what his occupation was. 
For, as a matter of fact, the young man was 
of old Knickerbocker stock, and the inheritor 
of wealth. He had a genius for detective 
work and a love of the calling that compelled 
him to make it his vocation. "But his em- 
ployment in this wise was known only to the 
head of the agency with which he had asso- 
ciated himself, and to a few trusted intimates. 
The better to guard his secret he adopted the 
plebeian alias of Jack Scott for professional 
purposes instead of his own aristocratic name. 

He had first won the admiring attention 
of the detective agency's chief by an exploit 
when he was only eighteen years of age. At 
that time his mother was robbed of a fabu- 
lously valuable pearl necklace. Extraordinary 
rewards were offered for its recovery, and de- 
tectives big and small hunted high and low 
for the gems. They failed utterly in their 



HUNTING A CLUE 73 

search. But the lad worked out a theory as 
to the theft, gained evidence to prove it the 
truth — ^in short, within a fortnight, he had 
recovered the pearls, and the thieves were 
safely lodged in jail. 

Already at this early age, the boy was 
profoundly interested in uplift work among 
criminals. When his mother smilingly turned 
over to him the reward she had offered for the 
recovery of her necklace, he devoted the 
whole sum to this charitable work. And 
ever since he had made a like disposal of the 
proceeds from his professional services. Now, 
Roy recognized in the detective assigned to 
him by the agency, an acquaintance of his 
own, Arthur Van Dusen. He expressed his 
astonishment at this revelation concerning 
one whom he had regarded merely as a social 
butterfly. But explanations were soon made, 
and Roy could not doubt Van Dusen's ability 
since it was guaranteed by the agency. 

He immediately made known his need of 

help. 

" I'm afraid," he began with a tremor of 
anxiety in his voice, "that you have been 
assigned to a case which will prove hard to 



74 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

solve. The woman I love — ^the woman I 
had expected to marry soon — ^has been taken 
from me in a most mysterious way. Somehow 
she's been kidnapped, and taken to sea a 
prisoner on her father's yacht." 

" Her name? " Van Dusen demanded crisply 
as the speaker paused. 

" It's Ethel Marion," Roy answered huskily. 
"The daughter of Colonel Stephen Marion, 
who, at present, is with his regiment on the 
Mexican Border." He drew Ethel's message 
from his pocket and extended it to the detec- 
tive. 

*'The only clue I have," he continued, "is 
this letter from her. She managed somehow 
to toss it near enough to a fisherman's dory 
so that they picked it up, and forwarded it 
to my mother's camp in the Adirondacks. I 
wired the Collector of the Port for information 
about the yacht's clearance papers. I had a 
reply from him at Albany on the way down 
here. He said that the yacht has not been 
cleared, and that if it's not in port, it has been 
stolen." 

Roy fairly groaned, and made a gesture of 
despair. 



HUNTING A CLUE 75 

"That's all I know of the affair," he added 
drearily. "I am distracted for fear some- 
thing dreadftil may have happened already. 
You understand now how badly I require your 
help. I can think of nothing — do nothing. 
You are not to think of expense. Just rescue 
Ethel Marion and run down and jail those 
guilty of this crime against her." His voice 
suddenly became pleading. "And you must 
let me enlist as a lieutenant to serve under 
you. Inactivity under such stress would 
drive me mad, I know. I was sttmned at 
first, but now I have my faculties again, and 
I believe that I may be able to be of use in 
the case under your guidance." 

Van Dusen stretched out his hand and 
clasped that of Roy warmly. Something 
in the firm contact comforted the distraught 
lover. It was as if strength and courage 
flowed into him from the other man. 

"Rely upon me," Van Dusen said quietly, 
but with a note of confidence in his voice that 
still further served to hearten his hearer. 
"And I shall certainly make use of you — ^and 
at once. First off, I'll ask you to get in touch 
immediately with Captain Halstead, the mas- 



76 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

ter of my yacht. Arrange to have it properly 
equipped and provisioned, so that we may sail 
at a moment's notice. Luckily," he added 
musingly to himself, "the new wireless outfit 
is already installed on The Hialdo. We'll 
need it.** 

Van Dusen stood up abruptly, and again 
spoke to Roy, almost curtly. 

"After you've attended to the matter of 
the yacht, report to me at the agency. You 
should be there well within an hour. If you 
arrive first, wait for me." 

"But you ?" Roy began eagerly. 

Van Dusen replied to the tmfinished ques- 
tion. 

"I'm off now to seek a clue from Miss 
Marion's maid." His voice grew gentle as 
he spoke again after a moment's silence. ' ' It's 
a curious case; curious and — difficult. But, 
please God, we'll win." 

Roy's answer came brokenly. 

"Heaven bless you, Van Dusen! And," 
he added with fierce intensity, "we will win 
— ^wemust!" 



CHAPTER VII 
Stormbound 

VAN DUSEN hurried to the Marion 
address, where he found Ethel's maid 
thoroughly enjojdng the vacation that 
had resulted for her from Doctor Garnet's 
action. Using his alias of Jack Scott, Van 
Dusen explained to the girl the situation that 
had developed, which was so perilous to her 
yotmg mistress. When the maid had recov- 
ered from her first dismay, she told freely all 
that she knew, and this was sufiicient easily 
to give Van Dusen the suspicion that the 
family physician might be in fact the guilty 
man, who was responsible for Ethel's disap- 
pearance. 

The detective's next visit was to the office 
of Doctor Garnet. There he found the physi- 
cian's secretary much worried over the pro- 
longed and unexplained absence of his em- 
ployer. He declared that the last time he 

77 



78 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

had seen Doctor Garnet was several days 
before when he had left in answer to a htirry 
call from the victim of an accident. The 
secretary added that he had made careftil 
inquiries in every possible direction, but had 
been unable to find any trace whatsoever of 
the missing man. 

Van Dusen gave only vague answers to the 
anxious questions put by the secretary. He 
stated merely that a client of his was anxious 
to get in touch with the physician. Then, 
without more ado, he hastened to keep his 
appointment with Roy. His own face, now 
he was alone without any necessity for the 
mask of indifference, was deeply perturbed. 
Consternation was written in his expression. 
His deductions brought him face to face with 
the fact that Garnet was actively concerned 
in the mystery. Either the physician was 
actually guilty of abducting his girl patient 
for some evil purpose of his own, or else he 
himself was also a victim of the kidnappers 
along with Ethel. Or, finally, the man had 
suddenly become deranged from nerve strain 
and overwork, and in this irresponsible con- 
dition had stolen away the girl, with what 



STORMBOUND 79 

crazy design none might guess. This possi- 
bility was even more dreadful than the others 
since there could be no certainty as to what 
the madman might intend. Van Dusen real- 
ized, with a shudder of horror, that in haste 
must lie the only chance of rescuing the girl 
from some horrible fate. It seemed to him 
that the single feasible plan would be to 
follow down the coast according to the direc- 
tions given in Ethel's letter to Roy. While 
doing this the wireless on his yacht would 
keep constantly in touch with all Southern 
ports and with the coastwise steamers for 
news of The Isabel. Then whenever the stolen 
yacht should be located, if fortune so fav- 
ored, it would be pursued with all speed in the 
hope of effecting a rescue. 

Van Dusen found Roy pacing uneasily to 
and fro in an outer room at the agency. He 
had performed the duties entrusted to him 
by the detective and was now wild with im- 
patience for further action. His first glance 
into Van Dusen's face stirred him to new 
excitement. 

I "Oh, Arthur!" he exclaimed, "I can see by 
your expression that you have obtained im- 



80 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

portant information. Tell me!** he insisted. 
" Tell me! I must know — even if it's the worst. 
In these hours of suspense and despair, I've 
braced myself to stand any shock. Tell me 1 " 

Van Dusen answered soothingly. 

"Roy, old man, the mystery will be solved, 
I think, and that before long. That is to say, 
it will be cleared up unless The Isabel founders 
at sea before we can reach it. I have dis- 
covered that in all human probabiHty Miss 
Marion has been carried away in the yacht 
by Doctor Garnet." 

"Are you positive about that?" Roy de- 
manded fiercely. 

"I am positive this far," came the quiet 
reply. "Doctor Garnet has not returned to 
his office since the time when he answered the 
call to attend Miss Marion on the yacht. It 
is fairly to be deduced from her message to you 
that he appeared on board in answer to her 
summons. I am of the opinion that Doctor 
Garnet is the one responsible for this outrage. 
He is either the victim of a sudden fit of in- 
sanity, or he has become a man-beast, sac- 
rificing position and honor and every decent 
instinct in order to gratify a heretofore smol- 



STORMBOUND 81 

dering lust, which has suddenly flamed forth 
and got beyond his control." 

**Your deductings are doubtless right — ^at 
least in part," Roy admitted, though with 
obvious reluctance in his tone. "But I find 
it hard to believe the possibility of Doctor 
Garnet's being the brute you suggest. He is 
universally esteemed not only for his ability, 
but also for his manliness and his many deeds 
of kindness and charity. If he has done this 
thing it must have been as you also suggest 
because he has gone crazy." 

Roy mused for a moment, and then spoke 
with a new note of excitement in his voice. 

''How do we know that the Doctor was not 
murdered while on board the yacht, and that 
the murderer or murderers then made off 
with the vessel and Marion? Or, perhaps, 
the tender was capsized and he was drowned 
along with the caretaker. Afterward the 
kidnapping may have been done by others 
who knew nothing whatever of Doctor Gar- 
net." Roy shook his head with decision. 
*' Anyhow," he added, "I cannot believe that 
Doctor Garnet, in his right mind, could ever 
have been guilty of such a foul crime." 



82 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Van Dusen regarded the yoting man toler- 
antly, but his smile was a little cynical as he 
replied : 

"When you have studied crime as thor- 
oughly as I have during the past few years, 
Roy, you will not be so confident of finding 
nothing but good in any particular man, no 
matter how high his reputation may be. I 
cannot say with certainty that Doctor Garnet 
is vile ; neither can I say that he is incapable 
of vileness. But in the work I have to do, I 
must entertain all possibilities if I would solve 
the problem." 

"Well, Arthur," came Roy*s reply after a 
moment of reflection, "I admit that I am 
amazed by what you have told me. I do not 
in the least understand the turn of affairs by 
which Doctor Garnet is implicated. But you 
are in charge of the case, and I am absolutely 
in your hands. I mean not to hamper you in 
any way — ^not even by throwing doubts on 
your judgment. So, now, just tell me what 
you mean to do next." 

Van Dusen answered authoritatively: 

"We must leave at once. On my way here, 
I sent out wires to Norfolk and other nearby 



STORMBOUND 83 

coast points. These will be sufficient to keep 
the port officers on the lookout for The Isabel, 
as well as the coast-guard crews. I have a 
wardrobe on board my yacht. Whatever 
you may need beyond what's in your bag, I 
can supply you with. Let's be off." 

Van Dusen's yacht was moored near the 
spot where The Isabel had been lying. The 
detective made diligent inquiry at the landing 
stage in the hope of picking up some bit of 
information concerning Doctor Garnet's pres- 
ence there, but the effort was fruitless. No 
one seemed to have known anything concern- 
ing the physician's visit. 

Forthwith, then, the two young men went 
aboard Van Dusen's yacht, and a few min- 
utes later the vessel was tmder way, with 
instructions to the master to hug the New Jer- 
sey shore while keeping a sharp lookout for 
The Isabel. 

The detective operated his own wireless 
outfit and for several hotirs at the outset of 
the voyage he kept busy, interrogating the 
different ships bound up and down the coast, 
and the shore stations as well, for any infor- 
mation concerning the stolen yacht. Finally, 



84 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

a tramp steamer answered that she had passed 
The Isabel the day before, and that the yacht 
at that time was headed down the coast, 
going slowly, in the direction of Hampton 
Roads. At once, on receiving this news, Van 
Dusen directed that the yacht's course 
should be set for Cape Charles and the 
Roads. 

As a matter of fact, without this informa- 
tion, the yacht must have taken this same 
direction for the sake of safety, since the 
weather soon became so threatening that none 
but the most foolhardy would have ventured 
to navigate in the open sea a vessel of The 
Hialdo type. 

The Hialdo pushed her nose through the 
waters of Hampton Roads in the early morn- 
ing. Both Roy and Van Dusen were on the 
bridge, surveying with their glasses every 
detail visible of the bays and creeks. They 
dared hope to catch somewhere a glimpse of 
The Isabely for they believed that she must be 
secreted somewhere hereabouts in some out- 
of-the-way place. They were justified in 
this by the fact that they had received no 
word of the yacht's arrival from the harbor 



STORMBOUNBH 86 

authorities of Norfolk. Yet, now, their rov- 
ing scrutiny was of no avail. Nowhere could 
they find a trace of aught that could possibly 
be mistaken for The Isabel. . . . With the 
approach of night the violence of the gale 
became such that perforce Van Dusen gave 
orders for the tying up of the The Hialdo 
at the Norfolk port, there to await the 
passing of this southeaster of hurricane 
force. 

The hours during which the tempest raged 
were fraught with horror for Roy Morton. 
He was in despair now, for he could not 
believe that The Isabel would be able to ride 
out the gale. His imagination pictured for 
him with frightful vividness the wreck of the 
yacht and its carrying down to death the girl 
he loved. The young man's agony of spirit 
was so evident that Van Dusen became 
alarmed lest he should break down. The 
detective thought to distract Roy from his 
morbid thoughts by suggesting that they take 
a trip into the town to lessen the tedium of 
waiting imtil the storm should wear itself 
out. His persistence at last won a reluctant 
consent, and the two set forth. ... In after 



86 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

years, Roy was to think often with shuddering 
of what must have been the dreadful result, 
had he indeed refused to accompany the 
detective on that excursion into the town. 



CHAPTER VIII 
The Efficiency of Clam Broth 

THE mere act of rapid walking had a 
beneficial effect upon Roy. His cir- 
culation was equalized by the exer- 
cise and something of his natural buoyancy of 
spirit was restored to him. The detective, 
too, found pleasure in the tramp, and the 
young men walked along many miles of the 
Norfolk streets, aimless, but well entertained. 
They swung at last into the square where a 
huge monument commemorates the Lost 
Cause and heroic dead. Suddenly Van Dusen's 
attention was attracted to a huge gilt sign 
over the door of a saloon. The outer aspect 
of the place was attractive enough, with some- 
thing of distinctiveness about it. He turned 
to Roy and spoke with a tone of amused 
interest. 

"That seems a bit different from other 
saloons. And I fancy the sign tells the truth." 

87 



88 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

With the words, he pointed to the gilt letter- 
ing over the door. 

Roy turned and looked in the direction of 
the detective's pointing finger. " Clam Broth 
King/' he read, and smiled appreciatively. 

''Well, old man," he remarked, "it's a 
straightforward way of advertising a food, as 
well as a novel one. And from the labels on 
the bottles in the window, it might prove a 
good place for us to visit before we start on 
the return journey to the yacht. 

"I really know the place," Van Dusen 
declared, "and it is excellent. About a year 
ago, I was in this city on an important case. 
It was through the assistance of The King 
that I was able to locate a most valuable 
witness. And the probability is that but for 
the sign I would have missed it. I've always 
been a perfect fiend for clam broth. After 
seeing the sign, I knew, of course, there 
must be something particular in that line 
inside, and so I wandered in. Well, I was 
served by The King. When I first entered, 
I reconnoitered by stepping up to the bar and 
ordering a drink. Before I had a chance to 
question the man who was serving me, a 



EFFICIENCY OF CLAM-BROTH 89 

gentlemanly appearing fellow touched me on 
the arm, and asked me pleasantly if I wovildn't 
like a cup of clam broth. He said that The 
King had just made a fresh batch, and that it 
was fine. I scrutinized the fellow closely. 
He had ^ kindly, youthful face, and his bear- 
ing was agreeable. I answered him promptly 
that good clam broth was just what I wished 
to have. 'But,' I demanded, 'who the devil 
is The King? It's a new one on me, to have a 
king for a chef.' < 

"The man laughed and then replied: 
" ' Oh, The King ! Why, he's only me V 
"To cut it short, a few minutes later the 
broth was served to me, along with some 
dainty wafers, and while I drank it The King 
and I made friends." 
Van Dusen's tone changed abruptly. 
"But let's not loiter here on the outside 
any longer. Let us go into the presence of 
The King." 

So it came about that Roy was duly pre- 
sented to The King, and he was not disap- 
pointed in either that culinary monarch or 
the throne room. Perhaps his enthusiasm 
was the greater since he was sorely in need of 



90 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

food to nourish a mind and body exhatisted 
by suffering. 

The clam-broth King catered largely to the 
officers of ocean-going vessels. There's hardly 
a master sailing the main who has touched 
at Norfolk or anchored in Hampton Roads 
during recent years that has not known Harry 
the clam-broth King, and has called him 
friend. To-day the usual number of storm- 
botmd seafaring men of the better class were 
gathered around the miniature tables in the 
place. The King was very busy indeed, 
passing from group to group to see that none 
of his friends were neglected. He greeted 
Van Dusen \idth obvious pleasure and had a 
welcoming smile for the newcomer when he 
was introduced to Roy. A moment later Van 
Dusen and Roy were seated at one of the 
tables, each with a bowl of piping-hot dam 
broth before him. 

But before the contents of the bowls had 
been wholly swallowed both Roy and the 
detective paused to listen with avid interest 
to the words of a mariner seated at an adjoin- 
ing table. And this is what they heard : 

**Yes, boys, it was some blow and believe 



EFFICIENCY OF CLAM-BROTH 91 

me it is still a-kicking up good and plenty 
outside the Capes. I missed the worst of it. 
My barometer had indicated that there was 
going to be some big doings long before the 
clouds begtm to loom. I was half a mind to 
haul to in the hook o' the Cape at Lookout, 
but the sky seemed so clear and I was so near 
Hatteras that I made up my mind that we 
could get into the Roads by crowding the 
boilers a little. I'd a heap rather be laying 
up dose to the King's clam broth than at 
that sorry, lonely, Lookout Bight. Don't 
understand me that I have got anything 
against that snug little harbor. I have every 
reason in the world not to have for she has 
saved my vessel and my carcass many's the 
time. The only thing is that it is such a 
desert place on land, not a house, not a 
hvunan, with the exception of the light- 
keeper and his crew. When a skipper makes 
harbor he likes it to be where there are some 
shore pleasures on tap. I will venture that 
there was not less than half a dozen skippers 
put in there to get away from this blow and 
every last one whilst they knew the fact of 
that little nook o' safety being there had 



92 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

saved him and his ship, was just a-raring be- 
cause he had not taken a chance rounding 
Hatteras and putting into Hampton Roads 
where he could nm in here and gossip and 
inhale the fumes of King Harry's clam broth 
and feel the effects of his Scotch, while this- 
here West India hurricane wore herself out. 

''You know, boys, I wish that I was a 
yachtsman with a good roll to back it up. 
Why, do you know them fellers take lots of 
chances and it's very seldom that they lose 
their craft? Of course, I have navigated 
over more of the sea than you, having been 
coasters all your lives. And do you know there 
is hardly a port in the world where I haven't 
seen a pretty, trim American yacht lying 
at anchor or haven't passed them on the seven 
seas? And never have I fotmd one in great 
distress — except for being out o' some par- 
ticular kind of Hquor. With we fellers it's 
different. We're always in some kind o' 
trouble, not to mention being constantly 
out d' all kinds o' liquors. And then we are 
scairt o' our Hves, or nm agrotmd or bum 
up, and so lose our master's papers, which 
means our job.'' 



EFFICIENCY OF CIAM-BROTH 93 

The speaker paused to dear his throat 
noisily. Then he went on: 

" Speaking along these lines reminds me of a 
little yacht we passed on the nm up, off 
Ocracoke Inlet. She was a long ways off 
shore, headed in. But I guess she made the 
inside all right in spite of the waves running 
high and breaking and the strength of the 
wind increasing with every flaw. Her name 
was The Isabel. And it's my opinion the 
captain of that yacht ought to be in the crazy 
house or dead." 

Somehow at the outset, the narrative had 
riveted the attention of Roy and Van Dusen. 
It was as if their intuitions warned them that 
something significant was to issue from the 
mariner's rambling remarks. The utterance 
of the yacht's name thrilled them both, and 
they stared at each other for a moment with 
startled eyes. Then they listened again with 
new intentness as the speaker continued his 
account : 

"It was just after daylight. I had been 
on the bridge all through the night, for I was 
anxious over our position, should the htirri- 
cane break with full force. I knew from the 



94 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

glass that it was close on us. I was looking 
dead ahead. Suddenly out of the mist ap- 
peared a craft as white and trim as a swan. 
She would plimge forward on a giant wave, 
then disappear for a moment in the trough, to 
appear again right side up, and coming at full 
speed to meet the next one. She was driving so 
fast that often she would force herself through, 
rather than over, the oncoming waves. I 
just naturally kept expecting from second to 
second that that fool skipper, sending her 
along at such reckless speed, would bury her 
so deep that it would be impossible for her to 
shake off the tons of brine, and so float on 
top again. If the fool only had sense enough 
to slow her down, I thought to myself, that 
bit of a craft would almost go through hell 
itself without a scorch. I realized that we 
were getting dangerously close, for I was going 
fast before the wind. So I quickly gave a 
passing-signal blast from our whistle, indi- 
cating that we would pass her on the port 
side. What do you suppose that fool at the 
wheel did then? Close as we were, and with 
no other reason that I could guess other than 
a desire to court death, he deliberately an- 



EFFICIENCY OP CLAM-BROTH 96 

swered my signal with two blasts. They 
meant that he was going to starboard, almost 
diagonally across our bow. I saw it was too 
late to correct his error, so I simply had to 
accept his cross signal, and I did my best to 
avoid a collision. I was successful — ^no thanks 
to him. We missed The Isabel by a hair. As 
it was, I thought that in spite of all we could 
do the suction from our propellers would draw 
in and crush the smaller boat against our side. 
I fancy we missed it more through good luck 
and the grace of God than through good man- 
agement. And now what do you think? 

**That chap at the wheel, instead of appear- 
ing grateful and giving me three blasts in 
salute, stuck his head and shoulders out of 
the pilot-house window and shook his fist at 
me. He yelled, too, and the wind brought 
the words down to me. ' You're only a dirty 
tramp, but you think you own the seas ! ' You 
boys know that that word ' tramp ' for a good 
honest trading steamer always did get on 
my nerves. I admit I swore a little at the 
btmglesome cuss, but he was well to windward, 
so I might just as well have saved my breath, 

"I honestly believe that that ornery fellow 



96 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

in the pilot house was crazy as a bed-bug. 
Stranger still, there wasn't another soul in 
sight aboard of her. I'm thinking 111 report 
the affair to the inspectors. There's no doubt 
in my mind that The Isabel weathered the 
storm for the chap was headin' her straight 
as he could go for Ocracoke Inlet. As the 
yacht was of light draft she cotild easily get 
over the bar and into Pamlico Soimd, where 
he could haul to under the lea of the sand 
dunes. Down there that craft would ride 
out 'most anything that might come along." 

The detective, with a gesture to Roy that 
he should remain in his seat, arose and crossed 
over to the Captain of the tramp steamer. 
He called the man aside, and frankly ex- 
plained how he had overheard the narrative 
concerning the yacht Isabel. He admitted 
that this information was of vital importance 
to his friend and himself. 

The Captain at once became intently inter- 
ested. Doubtless he foresaw something in 
store for the yachtsman that would settle 
his own score against the fellow, the fellow 
who had reviled him. 

"If you really want to come up with that 



EFFICIENCY OF CLAMBROTH 97 

critter," the mariner declared, ''it would be 
the easiest thing in the world according to 
my mind, provided you have the right sort 
of a boat." 

Van Dusen described his yacht. 

"How much does this Hialdo of yours 
draw?" the swarthy-faced skipper demanded. 

"She draws, fully stocked, just eight and 
a half feet aft," the detective answered. 
"And we could shift the gasoline so that she 
would get through on eight feet of water." 

The captain nodded appreciatively. 

"That fellow, the chances are, is right this 
minute at anchor somewhere in Pamlico 
Sound, or else he's cruising arotmd on some 
of those connecting inland waters. The one 
and only place where he could get to sea 
again would be where he went in at Ocra- 
coke, or else at Beaufort Inlet — ^though he 
might head for Norfolk by way of one of the 
two canal routes. You can bet your bottom 
dollar that, even as crazy as he is, he won't 
tackle the open sea just yet while this heavy 
swell is still on. It's my idea you got your 
man sure enough, for he's in a trap. The 
thing for you to do is to get aboard your craft, 



98 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

and then hot-foot it through the Dismal 
Swamp Canal for Ocracoke by way of Albe- 
marle, Coratan and Pamlico Sounds. 

"If you like," the Captain added with a 
touch of embarrassment lest he might seem 
officious, "I'll keep a sharp lookout on the 
other canal, so that he can't pass you while 
you're going through old Dismal. You might 
post the authorities at Elizabeth City to keep 
an eye open for the yacht, and to detain her 
if she shows up while you're rushing on at full 
speed for Ocracoke and Portsmouth. They're 
the little towns, one on each side of the Inlet. 
If you don't happen to find the outfit at either 
of these places, there ain't a particle of doubt 
according to my judgment that those folks 
can inform you of the direction taken by The 
Isabel when she sailed, for they keep mighty 
close tabs on every vessel that comes or goes 
through the Inlet. If you find she headed 
south on the inside, you'll know that loony is 
making for Beaufort Harbor with the idea of 
waiting there for the sea to calm down before 
venturing on the outside. Or maybe he 
hasn't any intention of going out at all. It 
seems to me he's more likely to be heading 



EFFICIENCY OF CLAM-BROTH 99 

for some one of those tributaries to the Sound 
that are narrow and deep, with the shores 
covered by a regular jungle growth. Boats 
of any size seldom go into them — except 
once in a while one run by a drag-net fisher- 
man. This crazy man could expect to hide 
there for weeks on a stretch without danger 
of being disturbed. If it's actually a case of 
kidnapping he's certainly shown himself as 
cunning as mad folks sometimes are." 

The detective motioned to Roy to join him 
and the Captain. Then in a few crisp words 
he explained the situation as it was indicated 
by the mariner. Both he and Roy joined in 
expression of gratitude to the skipper, who 
gave his name as Jake White. Then the two, 
realizing the need of haste, said farewell, 
and made their way back to the wharf with 
what speed they might. 



^674^^ 



CHAPTER IX 
Once in a Lifetime 

TO the average humane person the loss 
of a pet, whether through thievery 
or death itself, brings a very real 
sorrow for a time. How much worse it must 
be for one who lives alone, a recluse on an 
island of sand in the sea, to suffer the loss of 
his only living companion, something to come 
at his beck and call, something that seems 
indeed to reciprocate its master's affec- 
tion ! 

It is true that Shrimp was only a fowl — a 
Dominick rooster at that. Probably, from the 
standpoint of intelligence, a creature very 
low in the scale. But its association in this 
case had developed the qualities of the bird. 
The years of companionship had brought 
man and rooster to an intimate understanding 

of each other. 

zoo 



ONCE IN A LIFETIME 101 

When Captain Ichabod stepped from his 
shack, his pocket bulging with com for his 
favorite, and saw the rooster showing afar 
oflE against the snow-white sand where he 
was industriously scratching, and whistled a 
summoning call. Shrimp would come racing 
toward him at top speed, with wings beating 
a rhythm to his hurrying legs. Then would 
the rooster greedily pick the grain of com 
from his master's homy palm, clucking the 
while guttural notes of gratitude. And at 
such moments Ichabod' s heart would grow 
warm with pleasure in the realization that it 
was within his power thus to make one of 
God's creatures happy. 

When Doctor Hudson came to the door of 
the shack, where the bereft old fisherman sat, 
shaken with sorrow over his loss, he tenderly 
smoothed the Captain's wrinkled brow. He 
asked to know the cause of this sudden 
misery. 

Ichabod, with a boylike gesture, brushed 
away the tears from his eyes with the 
back of his hand. Then he straightened 
himself, and met the physician's kindly gaze 
squarely. 



102 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

" Thar ain't no call for explanations when a 
feller's feelin's are teched. Doc, do ye know 
o' some lonely codger that needs a good 
housekeeper?" 

The earnest question came in such startling 
contrast to the old man's manner of a moment 
before, when he was shaken with sobs, that 
the Doctor was hard put to it to restrain a 
burst of laughter. But by a great effort he 
limited his expression of amusement to a 
broad smile as he replied : 

"Yes, I know one — ^an old retired fisher- 
man by the name of Jones, Captain Ichabod 
Jones. He's a man who has weathered many 
of the storms of life. Now, as his bark is 
getting nearer to the last port, he needs to be 
less alone." A note of very sincere sym- 
pathy had crept into the physician's voice. 
''He should no longer be troubled with the 
cares of looking after his own home. But, 
I suppose, there's no use mentioning this to 
the man himself." 

''Yo'r in the right church. Doc," replied 
the fisherman, ''but ye are approachin' the 
wrong pew. Ichabod Jones has proved him- 
self this day. I did 'low that I was gettin' 



ONCE IN A LIFETIME 103 

sort o' decrepit like, but this momin' proved 
to me that I ain't as near all in as me and my 
friends thought. Didn't I tote a human woman 
nigh onto a quarter of a mile without 
a-hurtin' me a mite? No, sir. Doctor, I am 
the man that wants^he job. Them scotm- 
drels that I saved has stole all that I had in 
the world to come home to and now I'm ready 
to quit this island o' mine an' go an' dust out 
an' cook vituals for some crabbid old cus- 
tomer that is meaner than me. The more 
he'd quarrel the more it 'ould suit fer it 
'ould take my mind off of this woman 
business that took place here to-day, 
and then I might lam to forgit the 
rooster." 

''Jones, I believe you're crazy!" The Doc- 
tor exclaimed half angrily. Then he added, 
with a grin: "I guess I'd better give you a 
sedative to quiet those overwrought nerves 
of yours. Then you can get inside the shack, 
lie down on your bunk and doze off for a 
spell." 

The old fisherman took the remark with 
all seriousness. His face grew livid as he 
stared at the Doctor with widened eyes. He 



104 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

stretched to his ftill height and spoke in a 
tone of tense solemnity. 

''I will have you to know, Doctor Hudson, 
that never again will Ichabod Jones occupy 
that btmk, for — God A'mighty, man! — ^it has 
been desecrated by a woman. Of course, 
it was my own fault, I suppose. But then 
there was death a-starin', an' what cotild I 
do? When I built that hut an' tossed the 
fust blankets on that btmk I swore by the 
power that rules the waters what washes over 
this sand-bank o' mine that no woman should 
ever be welcome. An', by the Eternal, I 
meant it! They may say that Icky Jones 
has quar notions, and like enough he has, 
but when that woman what I loved saw fit 
to take on the beach-comber o' Port Smith 
Town, an' left me to be the laughin' stock 
o' Cartaret Covmty, I sure as shootin' made 
up my mind that it couldn't happen but 
once in my lifetime — ^an' it hain't — ^an' it 
won't! An' say, Doc, when that foreign 
woman, whilst I was a-bringin' her to, opened 
up them pretty eyes an' looked at me fer the 
fust time, I made up my mind or rather dis- 



ONCE IN A LIFETmE 106 

kivered, that old as I be an' quar as I be, I 
can't trust myself agin whar thar's women. 
Sure as thar's clams and oysters on them rocks 
yonder, I'd play fool, an' try an' make it 
heigh-ho for the parson. You see, Doc, it 
ain't that I hate women that I located on this 
lonely island. It's because, by golly, I'm 
afeaxed of 'em." 

This was the first time, so far as the physi- 
cian knew, that Ichabod had ever thus frankly 
confessed the truth concerning his bitter 
marital experience and its effect on his life. 
Doctor Hudson was deeply impressed by the 
fisherman's display of emotion. He spoke 
seriously in reply: 

'' Captain, you can't imagine how glad I am 
to have heard you say this. Until now, I 
never could understand how a man of your 
honest character and kind heart could hate the 
sex to which we owe our being, the sex that 
has done so much to make life more beau- 
tiftil, to make happiness for humanity. Now, 
at last, I understand. Your seeming hatred 
has been merely a mask for cowardice. You'd 
fight a giant, if need be — ^jtist as you have 



106 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

fought that giant, the sea, so often and so 
bravely. But, just the same, you're an 
arrant coward. You turn tail and run when a 
woman's in question, because you're afraid 
of the weaker sex. I suspect it's time for 
you to reform. I want you to come to town 
with me now, and stay there until you've 
fully recovered from to-day's excitement. 
While you're there, I'll look roimd and see 
what I can do toward finding you a place as 
housekeeper." 

Ichabod shook his head with great emphasis. 

''No, sir. Doc," he declared sturdily, "I 
ain't a-goin' to stir a step fer the town. But 
I'll let ye tow me as far as the Spar Chan- 
nel. Then I'll set sail fer the coast-guard sta- 
tion. I'll spin my yam thar to the boys, an' 
like's not spend the night with 'em. Then I 
reckon I'll come back to the Island. But, 
fust off, I'll stop at your office an' git some 
fumigatin' powders, so's to fix the house fit 
fer Ichabod again." 

The Captain and the physician made some 
further examination, which convinced them 
that the strangers had in fact left the Island 
by means of the wrecked yacht's little tender. 



ONCE m A LIFETIME 107 

Assured of this, the two men set forth, the 
Doctor for Beaufort, Ichabod to pay his visit 
at the life-saving station near old Fort Macon, 
where he knew that he was sure of a royal 
welcome. 



CHAPTER X 
Eyes from the Deep 

THE staid little city of Beaufort had 
been stirred to its remotest comers 
with the exciting news brought back 
from Ichabod's Island by the physician. 
Doctor Hudson had told the story to little 
groups here and there as he called upon his 
patients. Needless to say that a shipwreck, 
even though it be only that of a medium-sized 
pleasure craft, was enough to set everyone all 
agog with excitement. And here, too, there 
was the added mystery, concerning the young 
and beautiful woman together with her strange 
companion, who had been rescued from death 
only to vanish so inexplicably. "* 

Next day, Ichabod quite forgot to stop at 
the town in order to secure the fumigating 
powders from the physician. As a matter of 
fact, he was accompanied home by a number 
of the life-saving crew, who were eager to 

io8 



EYES FROM THE DEEP 109 

survey the wreck and make investigation on 
their own account. As he approached the 
Island, the old fisherman was astonished to 
see at least a dozen launches and fishing 
schooners gathered near the wreck. It was 
low tide, and all those aboard the craft 
seemed to be staring down into the pellucid 
waters. It was evident that something of an 
unusual sort attracted their gaze. As Icha- 
bod drew near, accompanied by the boat from 
the life-saving station, one of the men, on a 
launch that had her nose resting on the tiny 
beach at the oyster rocks was seen to be 
busy arranging a block and tackle. In an- 
swer to Ichabod's hail, he shouted that there 
was a dead man in the wreck. 

This information astonished both Ichabod 
and those to whom he had told his story, for 
he had had no least suspicion that there was a 
third person on the yacht at the time of the 
wreck. In answer to eager questions, the 
man with the tackle declared that the body 
seemed to be chained fast to the engine of the 
sunken boat. 

At this news, the Captain became greatly 
excited. 



110 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

''Men!" he exclaimed in accents of dismay . 
"Hain't it been enough for this old, weather- 
beaten, storm-tossed hulk of an Ichabod to 
have gone through more'n most young fellers 
could stand without now havin' a murder to 
be investigated at his very door? Didn't ye 
hear them words o' Sumner Jenkins? He 
says as how the body is chained to the ingine. 
It's fitten, boys, as we should go right plumb 
up thar, an' have a look fer ourselves." ^ 

A few minutes later, Ichabod and his com- 
panions were lying alongside the wreck, and 
were leaning over gtmwales, looking intently 
down into the transparent depths of the sea. 
And there, sure enough, lay the form of a 
man, with distorted features and wide-open 
dead eyes gazing back up at them. Arotmd 
the waist of the corpse there was to be seen 
distinctly the chain that tightly encircled the 
body and thence ran to the engine frame, 
around which it was twisted, and held im- 
movable by a huge padlock. Thus fettered, 
the unfortunate wretch had been carried down 
to his doom in the sea. 

The gruesome discovery had been made that 
morning by pure chance on the part of a 



EYES FROM THE DEEP 111 

fisherman who, out of curiosity to view the 
wreck, had brought his boat up into the wind 
there, A careless glance over the side had 
shown him the ghastly face of the corpse 
beneath the waves. At the sight, the fisher- 
man had let his craft slip off before the wind. 
He sailed straight to Beaufort, and told the 
town his news. It was the tidings carried 
by him that brought the morbid crowd of 
sightseers. 

The combined efforts of those present had 
been insvifficient to raise the engine and the 
body of the dead man to the surface. Now 
they were arranging a windlass, with block 
and fall, to bring the victim up to where the 
Coroner was impatiently waiting to perform 
his duty. Presently, then, the energetic 
workers secured a firm hold with the tackle 
on the engine frame. It was hatiled to the 
surface, bringing with it the attached body. 
The padlock was smashed, and the stiffened 
form released from its iron bonds. Forth- 
with, the body was removed in one of the 
small boats to the sandy beach of Captain 
Ichabod's Island. The Coroner would have 
preferred that it should be taken into the 



i 



112 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

shack for the holding of the inquest. But 
when the official made his request to the 
fisherman, the reply was by no means favor- 
able. 

"It seems as how I might be just a leetle 
accomidatin', but I dunno, Mr. Coroner, 
I've already got that place to ftimigate out 
on account o' thar havin' been sickness an' 
a woman present thar. An' now should ye 
see fitten to carry that poor murdered feller 
in thar, Uncle Icky would sure have to quit. 
It 'ould be just a leetle more'n he cotild stand. 
Don't think I'm feared o' hants an' sich fer I 
hain't. It's just this: The thoughts o' the 
poor devil, how he just lay thar on the bottom 
with his eyes wide-open, an' him murdered — 
them thoughts would keep a-comin' back. 
No, Mr. Coroner, you'd better not take him 
into the hut — ^not tmless you aim to buy 
Ichabod's Island." 

The Coroner yielded to the old man's whim. 
He ordered the sodden and twisted form laid 
out decently on the white smoothness of the 
beach. Then, with the other men grouped 
about him, the Coroner selected a jury, and a 
minute later the investigation was imder way 



EYES FROM THE DEEP US 

according to due form of law. The only 
witnesses who were examined were the man 
who had discovered the corpse, and Ichabod. 
There was small need of more. For while 
the account of the finding of the body was 
completed within a few minutes, Captain 
Ichabod's narrative continued for a full hour, 
during which he told everything he knew 
concerning the wreck of The Isabel and the 
subsequent events, including the kidnapping 
of Shrimp. 

Most of the hearers, if not all, had heard 
previously broken bits of the narrative. But 
now as they received the accotmt in detail 
from beginning to end they hung on the old 
fisherman's words, held by the weird spell of 
this mystery of the sea. 

At the conclusion of the testimony, the 
Coroner charged the jury briefly, and sent 
them into the shack to agree upon a verdict. 
The decision was not long delayed. Within 
ten minutes, the jury returned to the beach 
and the foreman announced that they had 
agreed upon a verdict. This was to the 
effect that the man had come to his death at 
the hands of parties unknown, while confined 



114 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

against his will aboard the gasoline yacht 
Isabel. 

The Coroner complimented the jury upon 
their verdict and then discharged the panel. 
He next arranged with one of the boatmen 
present for the removal of the corpse to Beau- 
fort, where he meant to have it embalmed and 
held for a reasonable length of time before 
burial, for identification. When these for- 
malities were concluded the crowd quickly 
scattered. Some hastened away to attend 
their nets, which had been neglected for many 
hours, while the others set sail or cranked 
engines for the voyage home. 

Captain Ichabod and his friends from the 
life-saving station decided that they wotild 
run over to ShacMeford's Banks, and thence 
sail along shore to approximately the point 
where Ichabod had seen the rockets of a ship 
that doubtless went to pieces in the surf 
during the night of the gale. Their particular 
destination was a place where the strip of 
sand was so narrow that they could easily 
cross it on foot in the expectation of locating 
the wreck of the tmforttmate vessel. Very 
soon after the party had set out, Captain 



EYES FROM THE DEEP 116 

Idiabod's spirits lightened. The congenial 
company of the coast-guard crew, now that 
he was away from the gruesome association 
of the Coroner's Court, induced a reaction in 
his mood, and he was almost cheerftil. His 
companions were anxious to remove the old 
man's depression and made kindly effort to 
divert his thoughts into pleasant channels 
by droU stories and rough banter. When, 
finally, the party went ashore at Core Banks 
and walked up the beach along the edge of 
the breaking surf in search for signs of the 
wrecked ship, it was Ichabod that walked 
in the lead with brisk steps and animated 
face. It seemed scarcely possible in view of his 
agility and vigor that the old fisherman was 
indeed living on borrowed time. 

It was not long before they began to see 
Ijiuge timbers that had been twisted and rent 
asunder, which now strewed the beach. They 
saw, too, others to which were attached sec- 
tions of the deck and the deck-house, which 
were lazily riding back and forth to the 
rhythm of the sea. Now, a wave wotild drop 
its bit of flotsam upon the hard sand; then, 
a moment later, one of greater magnitude 



116 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

would envelop the stranded spar or plank or 
piece of cargo, and with its backward flow 
bear away the wreckage, to be again tossed 
hither and yon, until perhaps finally the tide 
at its full would leave it on the shore, to be- 
come the spoil of beach-combers — ^those ghouls 
ever ready to take advantage of the hapless 
mariner's mischance. 

It was a fact that the whole shore line for 
over a mile was littered with parts torn away 
from the foundered schooner. Amid the mass 
were many barrels of rum and of molasses 
out of the cargo. As the little squad of men 
from the station, together with Captain Icha- 
bod, drew near the strip of beach, they saw 
two fellows working with feverish haste to 
roll a barrel of molasses over the top of a 
sand dime, and then down on the Sound side. 
Captain Ichabod scrambled to the pinnacle 
of a near-by hill of sand. From this vantage 
point, he beheld a good-sized two-masted 
sharpie lying near the shore. The sight made 
him immediately aware that the beach- 
combers from up the coast were already on 
the job, and that the boat on the Sound side 
of the Banks belonged to them. He knew, 



EYES FROM THE DEEP 117 

too, that the pair working so desperately to 
get the barrel away from the wreckage were 
thus toiling in haste to get their loot aboard 
the sharpie. 

For certain reasons, Captain Ichabod Jones 
had taken 'a strong dislike to the professional 
beach-combers. He believed that a man who 
would rush to the wreckage of a ship thrown 
on a barren shore away from civilization, and 
would appropriate without investigation the 
valuable articles thus cast up by the sea, was 
in very sooth not a good citizen — ^just a plain 
thief. More than once, indeed, he had seen 
fit to report men of this stripe, and had caused 
them no little trouble in the courts over this 
matter of their pilfering. It is just possible 
that, had Captain Ichabod not been robbed 
of the woman he loved years before by one 
of this class, he might have looked on their 
depredations with a more lenient eye. Be 
that as it may, it remains certain that he 
maintained a very genuine and very bitter 
spite against all beach-combers. 

Captain Ichabod often asserted that it 
was right for the natives to remove to a place 
of safety above high tide any articles of value 



118 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

from a wreck on their shores, and then to wait 
during a reasonable time for the lawful owners 
to make their claim. But he had no toler- 
ance for the fellow who would hturiedly and 
secretly remove to his own premises goods of 
a salvable sort. He declared this to be no 
better than theft. 

The Captain quickly realized now that here 
was his opporttmity. He motioned to his 
friends from the station to go on toward the 
two men busy with the barrel. He, himself, 
hastened down the slope of sand, in order that 
he might slip close unseen, and station himself 
between the beach-combers and their boat. 
By this method of approach both he and the 
men from the station would make sure of 
recognizing the offenders. As the old man 
drew near the sharpie, which lay with her 
sails flapping idly in the scant breeze, his eyes 
took in the name roughly painted on the stem 
rail of the boat, and he stared at it in shocked 
amazement. He stopped short and spelled 
the words aloud: 

'' R-o-x-a-n-a L-e-e !" 

At the sound of the name in his ears, a 
strange expression came over the fisherman's 



EYES FROM THE DEEP 119 

feattires. It was an expression compotinded 
of many waning emotions, which it might 
well have puzzled an observer to interpret. 
But his muttered soliloquy made his feeling 
dear. 

"Wall, I'll be plumb damned! Here it is, 
most twenty year since I has spoke them words 
an' God knows I didn't aim to now, but bein' 
a leetle slow on spellin', an' kinder beflustered 
over identifyin' these-here thievin' cusses 
they got out before I realized what I was 
sayin*. That boat's named fer my old 
gal!" 

Captain Ichabod had no time for fxirther 
musing. His attention was attracted by a 
crackling of twigs in the small brush on the 
side of the dune. As he looked in the direc- 
tion of the sound he saw hurtling toward him 
the barrel of molasses. The two beach- 
combers had succeeded in topping the rise 
with their burden ; then, suddenly excited and 
conftised by the approach of the coast-guard 
men, they had turned it loose with a violent 
push. It shot downward at speed, nor did it 
stop tmtil it had reached the very edge of the 
water of Core Sotmd, almost at Ichabod's 



120 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

feet. After the heavy barrel came the two 
plunderers, running rapidly. One of them was 
a mere lad, certainly not more than nineteen 
years of age, while the other was of advanced 
years as was proclaimed by his deeply lined 
face and gray hair. 

As the two drew near. Captain Ichabod 
quickly concealed himself behind a haw bush, 
there to await developments. He had a 
particular reason for not wishing to be recog- 
nized by these men — ^at least not tmtil he 
should have had time to get his bearings and 
to decide what course it were best to pursue 
in this unexpected situation. For that mat- 
ter, he was half tempted to leave the place 
without showing himself and without de- 
noimcing the paltry thieves. 

Ichabod's indecision was not of long dura- 
tion. His course of action was decided more 
quickly than he had anticipated by the arrival 
of the coast-guard men. They had hurried 
after the fugitives with some apprehension 
lest the old fisherman might be roughly 
handled. Now the men descended the slope 
with a cheer, and in another moment had 
pounced on the two cringing wretches, who 



EYES FROM THE DEEP 121 

were eagerly clutching their ill-gotten barrel of 
"long sweet'nin'/' as if loath to give it up. 

This was not the first time that old Sandy 
Mason, for such was the name of the gray- 
haired man, had been driven away from his 
nefarious work by the boys from the station. 
Hitherto, he had been let off with a repri- 
mand. He was sure that such would now be 
the case. Nevertheless, his heart was sore 
within him, for he knew that the coming of 
these servants of Uncle Sam must prevent 
him from taking away in his sharpie a whole 
winter's supply, and more, of fine old Porto 
Rico molasses — a treasure trove indeed. For 
the dwellers on the banks have little butter, 
and molasses, when it is to be had, serves in a 
measure as a substitute, at every meal. 

There was only a short struggle, for the 
beach-combers offered no resistance, except 
at being separated from the precious barrel. 
The capttire was chiefly an affair for merri- 
ment to the men of the coast guard, and, when 
they finally loosened their hold of Sandy and 
the lad, his son, they were laughing boister- 
ously at the despair on the countenance of 
the father and the yotmgster's look of chagrin. 



122 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Then, before a word was spoken and while 
the men were still roaring with mirth, Captain 
Ichabod stepped forth from the shelter of the 
haw tree. He seemed to stand a little more 
erect than was his wont. There was a twinkle 
of delight in those kindly eyes, a little dimmed 
by age. He bore himself with an air of im- 
pressive manliness, despite the burden of his 
years. He passed aroimd the group until he 
stood directly in front of the beach-comber 
with the gray hair. For a moment he did not 
speak, but stood motionless, gazing steadily 
at the fellow before him. But, presently, he 
raised his hand in a gesture commanding 
silence. The laughter of the coast guard 
ceased on the instant, and the fisherman spoke : 

"Men," he said in a steady voice, evidently 
weighing each word, "as I clim over the top 
o' yonder dime an' come down the slope to 
the shore I saw that sharpie with her nose 
snug-up to the shore. As I came on further 
I saw an' read aloud her name — Roxana Lee. 
Right then was the fust time that name had 
passed my lips in twenty year. It hurt me 
to speak it, fer 'twas that o' the only woman 
I have ever loved — or ever lost tintil just 



EYES FROM THE DEEP 123 

lately. The words was on my lips afore I 
knowed it. That woman did not die, pass 
away like an honest woman, but she ran off 
with a low-down beach-comber, whose thiev- 
ing face I hain't looked upon — ^like the name 
on the stem rail o' yonder boat — ^fer twenty 
year, until to-day. Neither have I spoke 
his name. Seein' as how so many things has 
been a-happenin' here lately that is a-changin' 
things with me, I will say to you men — ^that 
vannint, that low-down robber o' the dead 
an' o' the livin' whose clawlike hands you have 
unhooked from the chjnnes o' the barrel con- 
tainin' the stolen 'lasses that he hoped to get 
home fer Roxana Lee to wallop her dodgers 
in, is no less or no other than Sandy Mason, 
the thief who stole my gal twenty year ago, 
an' if I hain't plumb wrong on family favorin', 
that striplin' is their son." 

To all outward appearance, old Ichabod was 
perfectly calm. The men from the station 
regarded the speaker with faces grown sud- 
denly stem as they realized the nature of the 
wrong done him. Neither Sandy Mason nor 
his son ventured to utter a syllable, as the 
fisherman continued: 



124 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

"Sandy, you may think as how tain't none 
o' my affair, an' that I'd look a heap better 
to keep my lip out o' it. Maybe as how 
that's a fact, but God knows when I'll ever 
get another chance to rub it in hard on the 
likes o' you. I've heard, year after year, 
that you was still at the old tricks — ^too lazy 
to work, with yotir eye always turned to the 
sea hoping that some poor devil would mis- 
read his reckonin' an' put his ship where you 
can ransack its vitals fer an easy livin' fer 
you and yours. I'll lay my all agin a two 
pence that that wife o' yotir'n has wished 
many's the time that she had married an 
honest man an' not a thief. Judging from 
what I knew o' her years ago, I'll allow 
that it mighty nigh breaks her heart to 
see the man that infatuated her as a 
gal a-takin' her child an' a-bringin' him 
up in the ways o' a thief. Shame on ye, 
Sandy Mason! I'm goin' to ask the boys 
to turn ye loose, an' I hope to God that 
this will be a lesson that ye'll not soon 
forget, an' that ye'll straighten up an' be 
a man afore it's too late. If so be you 
an' the woman are past redemption, quit 



EYES FROM THE DEEP 125 

your thievin' an' beach-combin' for the sake 
o' the boy." 

Ichabod then ttimed to the lad, and ad- 
dressed him in a kindly voice, 

"Young man, I'm sorry to have had to 
hurt your feelin's with the truth, an' I hope 
ye'll forgive me. Take this experience of 
to-day as a wamin'. Don't be a beach- 
comber. For when you are, to my mind, you 
are what folks call a grave-robber — a ghoul. 
Now go home to your mammy, who used to 
have some good thoughts. Unless they're all 
gone through livin' with that no-'cotmt daddy 
o' your'n, she'll tell you that Captain Ichabod 
is right fer once. Yes, I say, quit it all! Be 
a man, an' show folks, that, after all, it is 
possible to make a silk pturse out o' a sow's 
ear. 

After this parting thrust, Ichabod turned 
on his heel without another word, and walked 
swiftly away down the shore. The men from 
the station added a few phrases of very trench- 
ant advice to Sandy and his son. They 
waited imtil the beach-combers had entered 
the sharpie and set sail due north toward the 
hamlet of Portsmouth. 



liee WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

When the coast guard came up again with 
Captain Ichabod, they fo\md him seated on 
the sand hard by the noisy breakers. Three 
Dominick hens clucked about him. The old 
fisherman was throwing them kernels of com, 
which he took from his pocket. The men 
gazed somewhat somberly at the fowls. It 
was plain that these were the only creatures 
that had escaped alive from the three-master 
whose bones littered the beach. 

Ichabod looked up at his friends with a wry 
smile, that was touched with grimness. 

" Boys," he remarked whimsically, "it seems 
to me as if Icky had had about enough re- 
minders fer one day without these pesky 
Dominick pullets a-buttin' in." 



CHAPTER XI 
The Awakening of Ichabod 

THE door to the fisherman's shack stood 
ajar, and in the opening showed the 
form of a man. As the Kght from 
the newly risen moon fell full upon the wrin- 
kled features of the face, a pleased, contented 
smile was to be seen as he placidly puffed his 
corncob pipe and blew rings before him in the 
quiet, heavy, midnight air. It was Captain 
Ichabod, home again after the momentous 
happenings of the day when the dead body 
was f otmd in the wreck of The Isabel. 

The Captain had been more or less method- 
ical in his ways all his life, but he had never 
carried routine so far as to keep a diary. 
Probably during the past twenty years, living 
the life he had upon his lonely island, there 
had not been enough of incident to have sug- 
gested even the idea of such a record. But 
on this particular night, the fisherman, clos- 

137 



128 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

eted within his shack, had been toiling through 
three long hours in order to set down a de- 
tailed narrative of the strange happenings in 
which he had been concerned since the coming 
of the great storm. He had ransacked his 
belongings imtil he foimd pencil and paper. 
Then, with his characteristically painstaking 
and deliberate manner, he had indited an 
itemized accoimt of the various events. Now 
he had completed his work, and rested well 
content with his accomplishment. As he 
lotmged in the doorway, he was taking a 
glimpse over the beautiful expanse of water, 
the while he smoked a final pipe before turn- 
ing in. He felt that after the arduous en- 
deavors of the day he was entitled to a soimd 
and refreshing sleep. His usual calm had 
returned to him. 

At daylight that very morning when he 
awakened in the life-saving station at old 
Fort Macon, he had felt that he could never 
again occupy his old cabin home. Yet, here 
he was at night, resting well satisfied, without 
any qualm whatsoever. The exciting hap- 
pening of the day — ^perhaps especially the 
opportunity to tell his old rival just what he 



THE AWAKENING OP ICHABOD 129 

thought of the fellow — ^had proved a balm to 
his over-strained nerves. He had come back 
home with a firm resolve to continue on 
there in tranquillity, and to enjoy to the full 
the days that were before him. It is true 
that he missed Shrimp. But, after mature 
meditation on the matter of the fowl's going 
away, the fisherman had about come to the 
conclusion that in all probability he had 
gone of his own free will and accord. It 
occurred to the Captain as possible that the 
bird might have been peeved by his master's 
sailing away without him as he hurried to 
Beaufort Town in quest of Doctor Hudson. 
Ichabod believed that Shrimp had seen his 
opportunity to cross to the mainland with 
the strangers and had seized on it in the hope 
of being able at last to fight it out with 
his rooster rival, whose challenging salute 
had been tantalizing him for many a day. 
Ichabod chuckled as he expressed the wish 
that Shrimp's encoimter with this rival might 
give him as much satisfaction as had his own 
with the beach-comber. 

Now, under the flow of his meditations, 
the old man grew loquacious. He went into 



130 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

the shack, shut the door and lighted the 
lamp. Then he sprawled at ease in his fav- 
orite chair, and since there was no other 
auditor at hand, talked to himself. 

"Wall! I reckon I have lamed a heap this 
day. The most important fact is that Icky 
Jones has been a fool for over twenty year. 
Jest because a no-'coimt woman took a 
notion in her haid that she had rather marry 
a beach-combin' thief than an honest fisher- 
man I have made myself hate all o' the rest 
o' the gender, or least-wise to keep away 
fr'm 'em, an' lead a miserable lonely life. 
Why! do ye know, I believe that when I 
spunked up an' told old Sandy Mason what I 
thought o' him an' his callin', an' rubbed it 
in some on the poor kid, that it did me more 
good than a dost o' medicine. It sure put 
sand in my craw an' made me feel like fightin' 
every mean thing livin'. If I hadn't been a 
narrow-fool, an' awful sot in my way, in- 
stead o' takin' the loss of Roxana Lee to 
heart, I'd 'a' braced up an' gone right ahead 
an' looked fer one o' the right sort. I've 
learned jest a short time back that I'd gone 
off on the wrong track. When I revived 



THE AWAKENING OF ICHABOD 131 

that fine-lookin' foreign woman an' she opened 
those eyes — such beautiful brown eyes! — 
an' looked at me so appealin'-like an' called 
me Doctor, I jest couldn't he'p but wish that 
she'd talk to me a leetle more, but fate was 
agin me, an' she was mtun as an adder." 

Captain Ichabod fell silent as he imdressed 
for the night, extinguished the light and 
stretched himself luxuriously on his bed. 
As he snuggled down into the blankets with 
a capacious yawn, he drowsily spoke aloud 
yet once again. 

"Wall, hanged if I 'lowed this momin' 
when I woke up at the station, that to-night 
I'd be a-layin' here so peaceable-like an' 
jest a-pinin' fer sleep. This shack an' this 
bunk has had a woman in 'em, but I don't 
reckin it has hurt 'em none after all. I can 
sleep, you bet. Unde Icky may dream a 
leetle might, but it won't be about Roxana 
i>ee. 

It was not imtil the sun was more than an 
hour high that the old fisherman opened his 
eyes again to the realization that another day 
had come. When he felt the warm rays of the 
summer sun upon his cheek he knew that he 



182 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

had slept beyond his usual time of waking, 
which stirred him to a fleeting anger against 
himself. He got up qtiiddy, and while he 
dressed, admonished himself harshly. 

"Betwixt the rust o' time an' a thievin* 
yachtsman, ye're plumb out o' time, Ichabod. 
If ye aim to be a successful fisherman in the 
future as in the past, you must either find ye 
another rooster, or buy a clock, an' I reddn 
that a clock, what will run, but can't run away, 
is the thing fer you." 

Breakfast over, Ichabod busied himself in 
getting his nets and other fishing para- 
phernalia straightened out, for in his hurry 
to put them out of harm's way as the big 
blow came on, he had got them pretty badly 
tangled. It was mid-forenoon before he con- 
sidered that things about the shack and door 
yard were about as they should be at the 
place of a first-dass fisherman. Occasion- 
ally as he worked, he would glance toward 
the oyster rocks, where lay the remains of 
The Isabel, and he would wonder once again 
what could have been the occasion of the 
curious crime that had resulted in the death 
of the man chained to the engine. But all 



THE AWAKENING OP ICHABOD ISS 

his musings brought only increased perplex- 
ity, until his wits were totally 4Deftiddled. 
He dare be sure only that the yachtsman 
he had rescued was either a vUlain or a 
maniac. 

It was a custom in the Sound Country for 
the natives at frequent intervals to favor 
their preacher; their doctor and the editor 
of the gossipy local newspaper with a gift of 
something attractive, either grown in their 
vegetable gardens, or taken from the waters 
round about. In this respect, Ichabod was 
not different from his neighbors of the other 
islands and the mainland. Many a time and 
oft, after he had made a particularly good 
catch of the delicious stone crabs or scallops, 
he had set sail to carry an offering of the del- 
icacies to friends in the town. To-day, after 
he had finally established order in his house 
and among his accoutrements, he shouldered 
his dam fork, and, carrying a large bucket 
to hold the catch, strode out on the point. 
The tide was extremely low, and Ichabod 
was aware that now was the time to reach 
the place where round clams grew in great 
abtmdance. The old man was an expert at 



134 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

locating these shell-fish. The keyhole sign 
made by them in the sand was so familiar 
to him that he could walk along at a smart 
pace, while peering alertly here and there in 
search of it. When his eyes caught the 
mark, he would strike qtiickly with his fork 
into the yielding sand, and so bring to the 
surface one of the luscious bivalves. On this 
occasion, Ichabod filled his bucket well within 
the hour, and then, content, returned to the 
shack for a midday meal. 

When he was done eating, the fisherman 
washed the clams carefully and wrapped them 
in a neat bundle. He then took them on 
board the skiff, and made sail for Beaufort 
Town, to pay his promised visit to Doctor 
Hudson, and to present him with the morn- 
ing's catch, which was of particularly good 
quality. In addition, he was prompted to 
tiie trip by anxiety to learn if anything had 
been heard in the town as to the identity of 
the yacht Isabel, or of those who voyaged 
in her. 

On this occasion, the customary group of 
loungers was not present on the shore to 
welcome the little red skiff and herskipper. 



TBE AWAKENING OF ICHABOD 185 

The quay was practically deserted. The 
fishing fleet had put to sea again in order to 
take advantage of as many days as possible 
with favorable weather for their labor. Icha- 
bod made his boat fast, and then with his 
bundle of clams took his way at once to the 
physician's house. Doctor Hudson himself 
met the fisherman at the threshold with a 
warm handshake. 

"Why, Ichabod!" he exclaimed, with a 
cheery smile. "Now, what in the world has 
come over you? In all my life I don't think 
I ever saw such a change for the better in a 
man's appearance within the few hours since 
I saw you last. I guess that wrecks and 
strange women and the finding of dead men 
in the sea agree with you." 

Ichabod grinned assent. 

"Yes, Doctor, I 'low that I'm improved a 
sight," he replied enthusiastically. "I come 
down to bring ye a few clams, an' to tell ye 
that since I saw ye I foimd a housekeepin' 
job fer life. An' so, while I'm obleeged to 
ye fer a-keepin' your weather eye open fer 
me, why, ye needn't no more, fer I've beat 
ye to it." 



186 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Doctor Hudson looked a little disconcerted. 

"Why, Ichabod, are you really goin* to 
leave the Island?" 

The fisherman shook his head solemnly. 

"No, sir, I ain't a-goin' to leave the Island 
except on business, an' to call on my friends. 
I've took the job right thar. I've done hired 
out to the new Ichabod Jones, an' I cal'late 
I'll be the most satisfactory help ole Icky 
ever had." 

"What in the world do you mean?" the 
Doctor questioned, with much perplexity. 
"I'd suppose you were clean crazy, if it 
weren't for a mischievous twinkle in your 
eye. Come on now, and tell me what really 
has happened. I am interested all right, for 
it must have been something important to 
make this remarkable change in you, which I 
can't understand." 

Ichabod nodded sagely before he replied. 

"Right you are, Doctor. But it took a 
heap more than a sudden scare like what 
cured the feller with the hiccoughs. Yes, 
it took more'n that to cure me. You know. 
Doc, I think now, as how I was diseased." 

The physician perceived that nothing was 



THE AWAKENING OF ICHABOD 137 

to be gained by any attempt at hurrying the 
old man. 

''Come on into the house," he urged, 
"and make yourself comfortable while you 
tell me the whole story." 

As the two came into the reception-room, 
the Captain fumbled in his inside coat pocket 
for a moment, and then carefully drew forth 
his narrative of the events in which he had 
been concerned during the last few days. He 
handed this to the physician as the two 
seated themselves by the open window. 

"Doctor," Ichabod declared with gravity, 
"I never did think as how I was a partic'lar 
good story-teller, an' knowin' as how you 
an' one or two other friends o* mine would 
have to know the story, I made up my mind 
last night that I'd put it into writ fer you- 
all, so then thar couldn't be no dispute as 
to the exact words of Ichabod. The story 
starts right from the beginning o* the blow, 
A part of it, the first part, you ah-eady know, 
so jest skip along tmtil ye come to whar 
Sandy Mason shows up." 

Doctor Hudson perused the document with 
great interest. The tmconsdous drollery of 



188 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

the old man's literary style gave piqtiancy to 
the account. At times, the fisherman's bits 
of htimor were amusing enough; again, there 
was often pathos of a very genuine sort, in 
the paragraphs. But as the physician neared 
the end of the roughly written record, the 
Captain interrupted him. 

"Say, Doc," he asked, "would ye mind 
a-readin' o' that last stanzy right out loud? 
I think it has got stuff in it that'll make my 
blood warm up a heap to hear it read." 

The doctor nodded assent, for he at this 
moment reached the paragraph by which the 
old man set such store. 

"I, Ichabod Jones," the words ran, "age 
unknown, bein' as how the family Bible was 
burnt up, announces to my friends, all an' 
stmdry, that fer the past twenty year I've 
been a coward an' a fool, but was not a-knowin' 
of the same imtil to-day. I ain't been called 
to preach nor nothin' like that. I has jest 
woke up! From this day on to the end o' 
me in this world, I aim to git all o' the honest 
enjoyment I kin out o' this life. An' I want 
my friends to know that the rule for twenty 



THE AWAKENING OP ICHABOD 139 

year as made an' provided has been busted. 
From this day forward women, ole an' young, 
will find a welcome on the shore an' in the 
shack at Ichabod's Island." 



CHAPTER XII 
Toward the Unknown 

WHEN Captain Ichabod left the Island 
in haste to get medical help for the 
unconscious Ethel Marion, Doctor 
Giflford Garnet stood before the shack and 
watched the red skiflf as it rose and fell on the 
billows iintil it was well on its way to Beau- 
fort. Then, with a smile of satisfaction, he 
turned and entered the abode where the girl 
was lying with no sign of life save the gentle 
rhythm of the bosom as it rose and fell with 
her breathing. Now, once again, he knelt 
by the bedside. For a little, he stroked the 
forehead with deft fingers, then touched her 
wrist and coujited the pulse. It was evident 
that he f oujid the condition of his patient sat- 
isfactory, for a pleased expression came in 
place of the anxiety that had hitherto marked 

his features. 

140 



TOWARD THE UNKNOWN 141 

Leaving the bedside, Doctor Garnet went 
to the kitchen stove, where he opened the 
oven door and took out the batteries he had 
removed from the little cedar tender. The 
intense heat of the oven had thoroughly dried 
these, so that they were again in working 
condition, together with the spark coil. The 
Doctor carried the attachments from the 
shack to the launch, in which he installed 
them. This accomplished, he succeeded, after 
a great deal of straining effort, in getting 
latmched the small craft, which had been left 
high up on the sand. By means of an oar, he 
paddled the boat arotmd to the Captain's 
miniature wharf. He made it fast here and 
then busied himself in tuning up the engine. 
When at last it was running smoothly, he 
threw in the clutch, and steered the latmch 
toward the wreck of The Isabel. As he neared 
the oyster rocks, he slowed down the engine, 
and ran directly over the stmken part of the 
vessel. There, he peered intently over the 
side into the depths of the water. Of a 
sudden, he drew back as if in fright, and his 
face became ghastly pale. He threw in the 
clutch and steered at full speed back for the 



142 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

landing. One glimpse of the dead eyes glar- 
ing up at him had sufficed. Though he was a 
physician, inured to dreadful sights, he quailed 
before this hideous spectacle. 

At the landing, he hturiedly made the boat 
fast, and then ran swiftly to the shack. He 
disappeared for a moment inside, and then 
came forth bearing his medicine case and 
blankets. He stowed the case in the latmch 
and spread out the blankets in the bow. This 
done, he returned to the shack. When he 
issued from it again, he staggered tmder a 
burden almost too great for his strength — 
the tmconscious form of Ethel Marion. He 
bore her with what haste he could to the land- 
ing and gently placed her within the 
blankets. 

At this moment, Doctor Garnet looked in 
all reality the part of a wild man. He was 
coatless and hatless. The strong breeze made 
new tangles in his already disheveled hair. 
Then, through long seconds, he stood staring 
bleakly at the distorted and broken yacht. 
Abruptly there came from his lips a weird 
wail of distress. That cry meant that every- 
thing good in life was over for him. His 



TOWARD THE UNKNOWN 143 

face set in stiUen lines, as he loosed the painter 
and seated himself aft by the engine. He 
opened the throttle, and, heading to the 
northward, soon left the sands of Ichabod's 
Island and those staring eyes of the dead man 
far behind. 

So absorbed had the Doctor been in his 
purpose of flight that he failed even to see 
the action of Shrimp. Just as the launch 
began to move away from the wharf, the 
rooster leaped lightly to the forward deck. 
It never occurred to him that he might be 
unwelcome. He entered the boat as he would 
have the skiff for a voyage with Ichabod. 
He was a sociable bird, and fond of a cruise. 
When the opportunity offered he seized on it 
with pleased promptness. By the time tliat 
Doctor Gifford Garnet chanced to observe 
Shrimp's presence, the latmch was at such a 
distance from the Island that it would have 
been folly for him to turn back for the sake 
of restoring the creature to its place. 

The launch tossed and pitched dangerously 
when it came into the broad reaches of Core 
Sound. It seemed indeed at times that it 
must inevitably be swamped. But the Doc- 



144 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

tor had skill and daring, and now, in the face 
of this new danger, he was cool and resource- 
ftil. Here there were no rocks to increase 
the danger as there had been at Ichabod's 
Island, and eventually he gtiided the launch 
to safety tinder the lea of the wooded shore 
of the mainland. ^ 

The first intention of Garnet was to make a 
landing in order to await the coming of night, 
when, as he knew from past experiences, the 
wind would almost certainly fall, after which 
the voyage could be restimed without danger 
and in comparative comfort. The Doctor 
fotmd, however, that his plan was impossible 
of execution. To his discomfiture, he per- 
ceived that the heavily wooded shore was 
nothing other than a vast swamp, without 
anywhere a dry spot on which to step foot. 
Upon making this discovery, he allowed the 
boat to drift a short distance away from the 
land, and then dropped overboard the tiny 
anchor. 

After the laimch was made secure, the Doc- 
tor took from his pocket the hypodermic 
syringe. The vial accompanjdng it, how- 



TOWARD THE UNKNOWN 145 

ever, was empty. Garnet searched feverishly 
through his medicine case, at first in despair, 
for he feared that he had no more of the 
drug. But at last he uttered an ejaculation 
of triumph as he drew forth a small bottle of 
the narcotic. He removed the cork and 
dropped the pellets into the palm of his hand. 
He counted them rapidly, before replacing 
all but one in the bottle. The quantity of 
the drug was so small as to fill him with the 
worst apprehensions. A man held as was 
Garnet in the clutch of an evil habit would 
be placed in a horrible position, were he to 
nm out of his morphia supply, while thus 
storm-bound along the desolate shores of 
Core Sound. He shuddered at the dreadful 
thought of such catastrophe. Then he tried 
to forget the hatmting fear, the while he made 
his preparations for loading the syringe. 
Though his fastidiousness was revolted, he 
had no choice but to use the brackish water 
from over the side to dissolve the pellet for 
the shot. When, finally, the task was com- 
pleted and the syringe duly charged, he did 
not again bare the girl's arm for an injection. 



146 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Now that his stock was running low, perhaps 
his selfishness forbade any bestowal of the 
drug on another; or, perhaps, his trained 
eye told him that the further stupef3dng of 
her would react dangerously. So, the liquid 
in its entirety was forced into his own arm 
through the needle's ptmcture. It was only 
a matter of a few minutes before the efl&cacy 
of the drug was made manifest. The ner- 
vousness that had marked the physician's 
manner fell away from him. His coimtenance 
wore a serene aspect. Presently he settled 
himself comfortably on an upholstered seat 
and then without more ado fell sotmd 
asleep. 

Garnet did not awaken until the shades of 
night were fast settling over the waters. In 
all probabiUty, he would have sltmabered on 
much longer, had it not been for his acutely 
sensitive hearing, which caught the soimd of 
a tiny voice. It was hardly more than a 
whisper that issued from out the blankets in 
the bow. It was the voice of Ethel Marion 
calling him. This was the first time she had 
spoken since the moment of semi-consciousness 
upon the Island when she had been revived 



TOWARD THE UNKNOWN 147 

by the ministrations of Captain Ichabod. 
Now she spoke once, and again, the single 
word: 

"Doctor!" 

Garnet sprang up and hurried to her 
side. 

"Yes, Miss Marion," he exclaimed sooth- 
ingly as he came to her. 

As he knelt by her side, she bade him wel- 
come with a smile in which pleasure and con- 
fidence were blended. Indeed, the girl felt 
that she was quite safe from any possibility 
of harm while in the company of the trusted 
family physician. But she realized that she 
was very weak, and, too, her mind was by 
no means clear. She was unaware that she 
was in fact htmdreds of miles distant from 
home and friends. She rested in a reclining 
position so that the gunwale^ of the launch 
were high enough to shut oflE a vision of the 
shore. Otherwise, the luxuriant swamp growth 
must have shown her that she was far south 
of New York Harbor. Ethel was familiar 
with the Sound Cotmtry from having trav- 
ersed it in voyaging to and from Florida 
points. Could she now have seen, she would 



148 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

have recognized the giant gum trees and 
cypress, garnished with festoons of Spanish 
moss that swayed gently imder the impact of 
the lessening breeze. 

" Oh, Doctor ! " she queried, " Have I been 
ill? I feel so strange in my head, and I am 
so weak, and, oh, so himgry!" 

"Yes, Miss Marion," replied Garnet in his 
most suave manner, "you have been ill, but 
are now very much improved. If you will 
just lie quiet and try to sleep a little more, I 
will soon have you where you can have plenty 
of good things to eat, and your strength will 
return as rapidly as it left you. I'm not 
going to tell you more at this time. I shall 
wait until you've had some nourishment and 
are strong enough to listen to a long 
story." 

Ethel forbore further questioning. She sim- 
ply smiled again and restimed her sleep. Gar- 
net drew out the hypodermic syringe, then 
hesitated. He remembered how limited was 
his stock of morphia. After a moment more 
of doubt, he shook his head decidedly and 
restored the syringe to his pocket. It was 
only too apparent to him that he must hus- 



TOWARD THE UNKNOWN 149 

band his supply with miserly care if he would 
not suffer the tortures of the danmed. 

Garnet slipped quietly back to his place by 
the engine. The sky was now quite clear 
again, and as the darkness deepened the wind 
continued to fall, until there was almost per- 
fect calm. It was safe enough now for the 
little boat to proceed on her way. The Doc- 
tor raised the anchor and started the engine. 
He steered out from the shore re;Solutely, 
without any sign of wavering, heading toward 
the northward. But for what port he sailed 
was the secret of his own drug-crazed brain 
alone. Was it his intention to hide away for 
a time in some sparsely settled section of the 
Sotmd country, where he could depend upon 
getting supplies from the kind-hearted, sim- 
ple-living coast dwellers? Or did he mean 
to go back over the way he had come in this 
frail craft? To do this, could have but one 
ending — ^the final disaster. 

The heavy darkness of the early night 
hours was soon dispelled. Far to the east- 
ward, the golden moon at the full came 
creeping up from behind a huge sand dtme 
upon Core Banks. Its gentle luminousness 



150 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

fell over the expanse of water and showed the 
launch clearly as it voyaged toward the un- 
known. . . . And that same radiance shone 
upon a lover seeking wildly for the girl of his 
heart — and seeking in vain. 



CHAPTER XIII 
Among the Fisherfolk 

THIS night was not different from other 
nights along the western shores and 
estuaries of the Sotind Country. For 
that matter, the people of the Hunting Quar- 
ter and Cedar Island section are not very 
greatly changed in their manners and customs 
from those of their forebears of many genera- 
tions ago. Grouped in small settlements of 
just a few houses each, they live there to-day 
after the fashion of those same forebears in 
almost every detail. The houses are the same 
or at least they are carefully patterned after 
those built by the first settlers so many gen- 
erations ago. 

There is no doubt concerning the ancestry 
of these folk. A little conversation with the 
natives is enough to make one realize that 
he is listening here to a speech redolent of 
the days of Chaucer, a speech richly flavored 

151 



152 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

with the colloquialisms of the Elizabethan 
era. Some of the familiar folk-lore tales 
might well have emanated from the poet 
himself, both for their language and their 
spirit. 

And these descendants of an early English 
stock have preserved not only the ancient 
speech, but they have maintained the gener- 
ous courtesy of a former time, when Sir 
Walter Raleigh spread his mantle in the mire 
in order that his queen might pass dry shod. 
And real courtesy inchides always an unhes- 
itating and ungrudging hospitality. The 
dwellers in this isolated region are surpassed 
by none in their warm welcome of any way- 
farer who may come to them. 

They have no highway or railroad connec- 
tion with the outside world. The only means 
IS voyaging by small boats, a method neces- 
sarily slow at the best, and often qtiite im- 
possible. It is claimed that good roads and 
the railways are essential factors in the edu- 
cation of any commtmity, and the claim is, 
doubtless, just. But it would be well, per- 
haps, if some of those who boast of their 
education were to be cast among these illit- 



AMONG THE FISHERFOLK 16S 

erates, there to gain a new appreciation of 
their own language, shorn of its modem 
barbarities and the atrocities of slang. It is 
a curious fact that many of these persons who 
can neither read nor write, nevertheless, 
possess a vocabulary beyond that of many a 
gramnMx-school graduate. Schools have been 
few and far between in this lonely place. Yet 
the very isolation has tended to preserve the 
purity of the local speech. 

To-night the inhabitants of the settlement 
are resting upon their tiny porches, for the 
air is over-warm and only the slightest bit of 
breeze is stirring. What little there is of it 
comes from the forest hard by, and brings 
with it a plague of numberless mosquitoes. 
Because of them a huge smudge is kept going 
close beside every house. But for this defense 
the insects' victims would be forced to take 
refuge within doors, with every window and 
door fast shut. But, after all, they are ac- 
customed to this affliction whenever the wind 
blows off the land. They seem to suffer 
little, if at all, from the volxime of smoke 
that would strangle the unaccustomed. It 
would seem indeed that they would require 



154 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

no masks against the poisonous gases loosed 
against them by a warrior foe. The most 
patient sufferers from the pests are those 
young ladies who are entertaining their lovers. 
Those of their age go barefooted late this 
season. The smoke does not lie close to the 
floor. So they are kept busy slapping at 
ankles and toes while they listen as best they 
can to the words of love uttered by their 
suitors. 

But to-night most of the men are fishing. 
The season for the gray trout or weak fish 
has arrived. Of late years a new method for 
successfully catching them has crept in from 
the Beatifort section, whither it was brought 
by some imknown foreigner. After its first 
coming, it was quickly taken up by all the 
dwellers along the Sound. The method of it 
is to suspend a fire of lightwood knots, which is 
built within a hollow, gratelike iron frame 
over the water. The fire throws a strong 
light into the depths, which attracts the fish 
in swarms. As they come close to the sur- 
face, toward the fire of pine knots, the fisher- 
man deftly slips beneath them a net shaped 
like those used for crabbing. By a quick 



AMONG THE FISHERFOLK 155 

upward movement, the wriggKng fish aire 
drawn safely to skiff or shore as the case may 
be. 

Such a method of fishing will not appeal to 
a disciple of Izaak Walton, but one must 
remember that these primitive folk are not 
fishing for the sport that is to be found in the 
pursuit. It is their way of earning a liveli- 
hood. It is a matter of necessity, not of 
choice, with them. 

Doctor Garnet realized that it would not 
be well for Ethel to remain exposed to the 
chill dampness of the night. He was also 
aware that she had taken no noiuishment 
throughout the day, and was, therefore, in 
a peculiarly susceptible condition. So he 
steered the latmch close in to shore, seek- 
ing eagerly for the lights of some friendly 
hamlet. But to-night there was a land- 
ward breeze, so that all lights were extin- 
guished to avoid attracting the mosquitoes. 
There were only the smudges burning, and 
these rarely showed any blaze underneath 
the drifting clouds of smoke. It was the 
custom to stifle at once any flare of the fire, 
in order to maintain the smoke at the densest. 



156 WBEN THE COCK CROWS 

It was the fishermen's lights between Hunt- 
ing Quarter and Cedar Island that gave the 
Doctor his first glimpse of life anywhere in 
the vicinity. Many boats had passed him 
going up and down the water way, but this 
strange man had studiously avoided hailing 
them, or being hailed by them. He was not 
willing to run the risk of being reported by 
any craft so encoimtered. 

Then, presently, he observed twenty-five or 
thirty of the lights burning upon the water 
within a radius of a half mile. Some of them 
appeared to be directly on the water's edge, 
while others were scattered over the surface 
of the Soimd. He wondered greatly at the 
weird sight, but his drug-crazed nerves left 
him no courage to investigate the phenom- 
enon. But, of a sudden, the blanket-wrapped 
form in the bow stirred. There came the 
gentle noise of a healthy yawn, and then the 
girl's voice called: 

"Doctor Garnet! Won't you please take 
me home — ^wherever that is — or some place 
where there is food? I'm just as hxmgry as 
I can be!" ^ 

''Yes, Miss Marion," the physician an- 



AMONG THE BISHERFOLK 157 

swered glibly. ''We'll soon be where there 
is both food and shelter. I'm so glad to find 
you improved! My patient will soon be her- 
self again." 

"Yes," the girl agreed, "I am improved, 
Doctor. I feel quite myself again, and I'm 
wondering where I am and what has hap- 
pened. I must have been unconscious for 
some time," she added thoughtfully, "for the 
ankle I sprained while boarding The Isabel is 
almost well. Do you know, there is very 
little I remember after that? I recall the 
awakening in the morning and the finding 
that the yacht was at sea and then your 
coming to my assistance when I discovered 
that I was locked in my room. Please, Doc- 
tor, won't you explain this whole affair to 
me? Were we kidnapped by river thieves, 
and did you succeed in escaping with me? 
Somehow, I have an impression that we're 
a long way from New York Harbor." Even 
in the faint light from the moon, Ethel 
could see that the physician was perturbed 
by her questioning. The fact startled her, 
aroused a vague suspicion. She spoke now 
with an authoritative quality in her voice. 



158 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

t 

'* Doctor, what is the meaning of this reti- 
cence? Why do you show such emotion? 
Has something dreadful happened? Stu'dy, 
an explanation is my due." 

Garnet perceived that he had at last a sane, 
sensible woman with whom to deal. He 
knew that it would be necessary for him to 
treat her as such, to give her a satisfactory 
and rational explanation. But he had the 
cunning of that partial madness induced by 
the drug. He meant to have that cxmning 
stimulated to even a greater degree. For 
even while the girl was speaking, he contrived 
to arrange another charge for the h3rpodermic. 
To avoid attracting her attention, he did not 
even roll up his sleeve to insert the point into 
his flesh. Instead, he inserted it through 
coat and shirt. In an emergency such as 
this, he had no need for the aseptic niceties 
characteristic of his profession. He had no 
thought of bacteria from the cloth to infect 
the woimd. His sole concern was to feel 
within him the increased thrill of the morphia. 
His nerves must be at their best to combat 
the inquisitiveness of this intelligent young 
woman, now in the possession of her normal 



AMONG THE BISHERFOLK 159 

mind. He understood perfectly that his nar- 
rative of events must contain such a skillful 
mingling of truth and falsehood as to leave 
her without any doubt whatsoever concern- 
ing his own integrity. Otherwise, there must 
come disgrace for himself, the ruin of his 
career. He spoke then suavely, genially even. 
"Right you are, Miss Ethel. You were 
kidnapped — ^taken miles and miles from your 
home. I trust you are strong enough now 
to hear the story — ^properly censored — ^that I 
have to tell you. I think, though, it will be 
sufficient, for the time being, to inform you 
that you are now absolutely safe. I regret 
to advise you that The Isabel is no more. 
She was driven on the rocks, and is a total 
wreck. Yet, perhaps, it is better so. Your 
kidnapper was trying to run out into the open 
sea when the tempest was such that no 
yacht of such tonnage could have endured the 
fury of the waves. So the wreck probably 
saved your life, for you were rescued unharmed 
with the exception of a mild concussion of 
the bra^, which left you imconscious for some 
time. And you may be glad now, since you 
have aroused from the stupor, that you have 



160 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

no memory of the many harrowing scenes 
connected with this affair. I also was res- 
cued, and am doing my utmost to return you 
to your friends safe and sound. To-night, 
we're going northward on the waters of Core 
Sound, off the North Carolina mainland. 
The great sand dunes of Core Banks, which 
you have admired so many times in passing 
through these waters while cruising with your 
father, are just visible off the starboard bow 
in the moonlight. Off the port bow are many 
tiny lights, which I confess are a mystery to 
me. I have a suspicion, however, that they 
are shown by fishermen craft. I think it 
best to head for them in the hope that we 
may obtain shelter and food. And now, my 
dear patient," the Doctor concluded briskly, 
"please let this statement be sufficient for 
the time being. Then, by-and-by, I will tell 
you in full the most wonderf td story of adven- 
ture that any little New York girl has ever 
experienced.*' 

"Thank you, so much!" Ethel responded 
gratefully. " Now that I've had this much of 
the story from you, I'll promise to be as patient 
as possible. Just the same, I'm awfully 



AMONG THE BISHERFOLK 161 

anxious to hear it all in its completeness. I 
love adventure, and I am afraid I can't 
exactly be sorry that I've lived through one 
myself. I'm more sorry for poor father down 
there on that desolate border, for I know how 
he is looking forward to another cruise in the 
poor Isabel. I must wire him promptly, so 
that he'll be able to have the yacht dupli- 
cated without delay." 

The physician was immensely elated that 
his narrative was so well received by the girl. 
With a new feeling of safety and contentment 
he headed the launch toward the light that 
seemed nearest the shore. It was not long 
until they reached the roughly constructed 
pier. Upon the extreme end of it sat a soli- 
tary man fishing with fire and net. 

As they approached the shore, Garnet was 
able to make out the shadowy outlines that 
btilked in the distance as a half-dozen small 
houses. Beside each a smudge sent forth 
clouds of heavy smoke. He was heartened 
by the scene, for he knew well the hospitality 
of the southern home, and he was confident 
that within the walls of one of these humble 
cottages would be f oimd food and rest for 



162 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

himself and the girl in his charge. Yet even 
in this moment, the physician wondered if 
indeed there wotdd ever be real rest for hirn 
while he shotdd remember the staring, accusing 
eyes that looked up at him from the water's 
depth. 

Garnet brought the tender alongside the 
wharf in shore, at a sufficient distance from 
the man to avoid disturbing the fishing. Then 
he climbed out upon the frail, wooden struc- 
ture built upon poles driven into the bottom, 
and made his way over its swaying surface 
to the native by the fire. This proved to 
be "Squire" Goodwin, the big man of the 
settlement. He was of an appearance above 
the average, and handsome still in spite of 
fifty-odd years of toil and exposure. He rose 
at Garnet's approach, and, without waiting 
to be addressed, spoke with an air of genial 
familiarity. 

"I don't usually go a-firin' for trout this 
late o' night, but the truth is that between 
the hell-fired skeeters and the gals havin' 
beatix there wasn't much for me to enjoy at 
home. My name's Goodwin," he added by 
way of introduction. "They call me Squire 



AMONG THE FISHERFOLK 163 

all around these parts. I'm the jtistice o* 
the peace. So be you're after a warrant?" 

The last word affected Garnet very un- 
pleasantly, and he shook his head with such 
grim emphasis that the Squire perceived he 
had been mistaken as to the stranger's pur- 
pose. 

"No?" he remarked. "Well, then, maybe 
it's fair for me to make another guess." A 
twinkle shone now in his clear eyes. "Judg- 
ing from the face that the moon just lighted 
up there in the bow of your snapper, I don't 
believe I'd be far wrong in judging ye two to 
be worldly folks that think a squire's good as 
a parson. What mout you're name be, 
stranger?" 

I At this blimt demand. Garnet again showed 
traces of embarrassment, but these endured 
only for an instant. He realized that in 
this place so remote from the ordinary lanes 
of travel there cotdd be little danger in divulg- 
ing his identity. So he spoke with brisk 
confidence, 

"My name, sir, is Gifford Garnet, I am a 
physician. The yoimg lady Ijning in the 
launch yonder is my patient. We were so 



164 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

unfortunate as to be wrecked while on a 
yacht cniising in the waters to the south of 
here. We are now on our way northward, 
bound for one of the larger towns, where we 
shall be able to get transportation home. 
The young lady is suffering from an injured 
ankle, and, too, she has been for some time 
unconscious from a blow on the head received 
while we were escaping from the yacht. It 
is only within the last hour that she has 
seemed to be again quite normal. We were 
obliged to lay to in the lower section of the 
Soimd for several hours, waiting for the 
weather to moderate. Otherwise we would 
not have been obliged to put in here and beg 
you for food and lodging. If you can take 
care of us over night I shall be only too glad 
to pay you for your hospitality." 

''Pay me for my hospitality!" the Squire 
exclaimed indignantly. ''That's something 
in my locality that's never been for sale, and 
can't be bought. You-all must be from the 
North. I've heard folks from the outside 
say that folks up there pay for everything, 
even for a place to hang their hats in public 
houses. Folks that pay for everything they 



AMONG THE FISHERFOLK 165 

get lose all love for each other." His tone 
changed abruptly, and he spoke authorita- 
tively. "Get that young woman out o* the 
boat and after I make another dip, I'll take 
ye up and show ye one shack where hospi- 
tality ain't for sale. And when you go please 
remember that you don't leave imder any 
obligation to Squire Goodwin. I will say 
though, if ye ever catch me in you-all's fix, 
and ye he'p me out, then I won't offer to 
pay you for your hospitality. I just don't 
believe in it!" 

The Squire skipped back to his firelight, 
and the Doctor watched him toss four flop- 
ping, wriggling beauties upon the wharf. 
As the fish fell from the net, the Squire 
shouted tritimphantly: 

"Say, Doctor, there's a momin' meal you- 
allcan't pay for!" 

The task of getting Ethel Marion from the 
boat to the shore was not as diffictdt as Gar- 
net had anticipated. She was buoyed up 
wonderfully by the thought that comfortable 
quarters awaited her and good clean food to 
satisfy an appetite that was fast becoming 
ravenous. Had it not been for the injured 




166 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

ankle, she could have walked as rapidly as 
either of the men from the landing stage to 
the house. But when she rested her full 
weight on it, she found that it was still pain- 
ful, so that it was necessary for the Doctor 
to support her on one side while the Squire 
gallantly gave his aid on the other. 

As they reached the porch, there was a 
stealthy sound of scurrying and the pattering 
of bare feet, as the young-men callers slipped 
away in the darkness to their homes. Then 
the two yoimg women hastened forward to 
greet the strangers in true Core Soimd style. 
"Ma" was in bed, they explained, but they 
themselves, with easy, imaffected kindness 
proceeded to make the invalid at home. Then 
one of them hurried into the cook-room to 
prepare a quick meal. 

Ethel Marion, a girl of high society in New 
York City, and reared in luxury, had hith- 
erto known little of htimble homes such as 
this in which now she was being cared for so 
generously. As she glanced about her, she 
saw that the walls were not covered with a 
paper especially prepared for the purpose, in 
the manner to which she had been accus- 



AMONG THE FISHERFOLK 167 

tomed. Instead, they carried sheets of ordi- 
nary newspapers, most of them of a religious 
character. It was a quaint and indisputable 
witness to the fact that here she was in the 
home of a God-loving, Christian family. All 
of the furnishings were simple ; most of them 
of great age. Among them were antiques to 
warm a collector's heart. It was plain that 
these had been handed down through many 
generations. Those of later origin were care- 
fully wrought duplicates of the choicest 
models. In her astonishment amid surroimd- 
ings so strange and yet so pleasant, with the 
savor of cooking food in her nostrils, Ethel for 
the moment almost forgot the mystery and 
the peril through which she had passed — 
almost forgot, for a fleeting instant, the lover 
she had summoned to her aid by a message 
cast into the sea. 



CHAPTER XIV 
Garnet the Hero 

THE dwellers of the Soxind Country are 
early risers. For this reason, Ethel 
Marion was up and dressed next morn- 
ing earlier than ever before in her life. The 
dawn was just breaking when breakfast was 
annoiinced. One of the bnxom girls came to 
offer her services in dressing the invalid 
stranger. Then she was assisted to the porch 
for a breath of the early morning air, and 
she exclaimed in delight over the splendid 
view there unfolded. Far oflE to the east- 
ward the sim was just climbing up from be- 
hind a sand dime on the Banks. For miles 
up and down the coast the broken sand hills 
ran in a line north and south, trending the 
horizon. These showed free from any vege- 
tation except the scrub growth at their base 
and the sand of them shone imder the rays 

i68 



GARNET THE HERO 169 

of the rising sun like molten silver. In the 
foreground were the blue waters of the Sound 
now dimpling imder the caressing touches of 
a gentle breeze. Here and there showed high 
lights from the whitecaps that stood out as 
souvenirs still of the storm that had passed. 
Oflf to the right of the small bay upon which 
the house was built, a tangled mass of ever- 
green shrubs offered a vivid note in the color 
scheme. These were the imdergrowth of the 
huge forest trees, of which the limbs were 
almost hidden by the clinging wreaths of 
mistletoe. 

The esthetic sense of Ethel was touched 
to the deeps by this vista of beauty roimd- 
about. No wonder that the dwellers in this 
blessed region lived contented in youth, ma- 
turity, and old age. She wondered, rather, 
that anyone could be cross or ill tempered or 
evil in any way within the environment of a 
nature so benign. 

She was reluctant when Miss Goodwin 
gently led her away from the panorama of 
beauty toward the more sordid pleasure of 
the breakfast table. As she went, Ethel of- 
fered a silent and most devout prayer of grat- 



170 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

itude for her preservation and for the kind- 
ness she had received from Doctor Garnet 
and these strangers, whom just now she was 
very near to loving. 

Had it not been for the wish to appease the 
anxiety of friends at home, Ethel wotdd have 
been content to remain long in this wonder 
spot, among a people so simple, so different 
from those to whom she had been actistomed, 
who were so little acquainted with the man- 
ners and the fashions of a so-called higher 
society. But, breakfast over, she was the 
first to suggest that it were best to leave this 
remote settlement, with all its charms of 
scenery and the compelling attractiveness of 
its homely goodness. The nerve-racked Gar- 
net also was anxious to depart. He had 
rested comparatively well after the excite- 
ment and strain of the previous day, and now 
to an eye not too critical he wotdd have 
seemed quite normal. Yet, a certain wild- 
ness in the expression of his eyes had not 
wholly disappeared. Now that Ethel was 
herself again, she perceived that there was 
something radically wrong with the man. 
Naturally enough, she attributed this con- 



GARNET THE HERO 171 

dition on his part to the worry over her wel- 
fare, and she even experienced a feeling 
almost like remorse that she shotild thus 
tmwittingly have been the cause of suffering 
on his part. 

The Goodwins urged them to remain for a 
longer rest, but they abandoned their hos- 
pitable eflforts when Ethel pointed out the 
necessity of at once relieving the anxiety of 
her friends concerning her safety. They pro- 
vided, however, an ample amount of food to 
be carried by the voyagers, which would suf- 
fice them until they reached a town on the 
coast to the northward, and the entire family 
went down to the wbarf to vnsh them God- 



As the party ^>proadied the landing, the 
attentioii of all was called to ^mmp, who 
hitherto had been oegjtected. He came walk- 
ing proadly aloi^ the beadi toward them 
from the fier. Wbea the physfdan e%- 
idained that the tooster was a pet, the S^|twe 

with a sccaE pflcfeag^ ^A cfxrti. A tc/xcjttA 
later, ibt \atsa/fik waa ^sfpan m tu^if/eL, ^^ 
those aa ikxxe was^tA ^cjta a^fSetsx ^r^ 



172 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

handkerchiefs, to which Ethel replied in 
kind. 

Ethel was eager in her praise for every 
member of the family that had shown them 
such kindness and hospitality. 

*'0h, Doctor," she exclaimed, "just as 
soon as the new yacht is built, the very first 
cruise shall be a visit to this beautiftil spot. 
Father must know these plain people who 
have been such life-savers to us. You, too, 
Doctor Garnet, shall be one of the party. 
We'll see if we can't devise some scheme by 
which to repay them for what they've done." 

The physician made no reply. He seemed 
indeed to be wholly absorbed in meditation. 
But he aroused with a start from his reverie 
at the girl's next question. 

"Doctor, you know a woman's inquisi- 
tiveness ! Last night you bade me be patient, 
and said that after a while you would tell me 
the whole story of this imfortunate affair. 
Now, I simply must ask you just one question. 
Will you answer it?" 

"I'll try, Miss Marion," was the answer, 
given with an air as nonchalant as he oould 
assume. . 



GARNET THE HERO 178 

"Where are the villains who took part in 
this affair? Did they go down with The 
Isabel, or did they escape, and are they still 
at large?" "" 

Garnet looked the girl straight in the eye 
as he replied in a tone of the utmost sincerity. 

"The arch-conspirator escaped. He is 
probably being htinted by the best detectives 
in the cotintry. He is stire to be capttired 
eventtially, dead or alive." 

"Thank you, Doctor," Ethel said grate- 
fully. "And in proof of my thanks, I won't 
trouble you any more on this subject, which 
seems to worry and annoy you. Of course, I 
don't know what dreadful things you were 
obliged to go through with in order to save 
yourself and me from harm. Really, I'm 
not surprised that you don't wish to talk 
about it. But I do hope they catch the 
guilty man and punish him as he deserves — 
hang him, perhaps." 

The physician winced at the iimocent re- 
mark, and vouchsafed no reply. 

The lavmch sped on and on. The wind in- 
creased in some degree during mid-forenoon, 
as is usual in southern waters at this season 



174 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

of the year. But the little craft was staunchly 
built, and by taking advantage of the head- 
lands she made fairly good progress. 

Garnet was beginning to suffer again from 
lack of the drug. Ethel had not as yet seen 
him use the hypodermic needle, nor did he 
care to have her. But by rapid stages his 
desire reached such a point that he must either 
have the relief of morphia or go mad. Then 
his cunning brain suggested that it would be 
easy enough to deceive this guileless girl. 
So he boldly told her that he was in a highly 
nervous state and suffering as well from a 
splitting headache, and that, therefore, he 
deemed it advisable to take a small injection 
of morphia, which would tmdoubtedly relieve 
him. 

Ethel had not the faintest idea that this 
learned man, of such eminence in his pro- 
fession, was, in fact, a drug fiend. She had 
no suspicion of the truth even when she saw 
the point of the hypodermic syringe penetrate 
the skin of his forearm. She merely admired 
the graceful, deft movements of the long and 
dender fingers. 
• Nevertheless, the girl could hardly fail to 



GARNET THE HERO 176 

note the change that came ahnost immediately 
over the man. Now he became again his 
usual self, with little, if any, trace of ner- 
vousness, with the manner that was affable 
and sympathetic. 

It was a half hour later when Ethel, ever 
alert, noticed a fisherman's boat laboring 
clumsily down the Sound. In years agone, 
it had been equipped with a sail, but now it 
chugged away industriously tmder the energy 
of a wheezing gasoline engine. There were 
several persons aboard — ^three men, two 
women and a baby in arms. During her 
first glance at the tmgainly-looking boat, the 
beat of the engine ceased, and it was evident 
from the actions of the man who busied him- 
self with the machinery that the motor had 
balked. As the lavmch drew nearer, the girl 
saw that those in the broken-down craft were 
in a state of consternation, with their atten- 
tion centered on the child. She cried out 
in wonder to the Doctor. 

"What in the world can be the matter in 
that boat? It must have something to do 
with the baby." 

Garnet answered without hesitation. 



176 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

"Yes, Miss Ethel, I've been watching, and 
there is certainly something seriously wrong. 
I'll go close enough to hail them." 

The men in the fishing boat began to wave 
their hats as distress signals, and the Doctor 
nodded and raised his hand as a signal that 
he was coming. 

When the lavmch came within hailing dis- 
tance, one of the men shouted out an explan- 
ation. The propeller had become entangled 
in a piece of floating net, and so rendered 
useless. The party came from the Toume- 
quin Bay section, where an epidemic of 
diphtheria was raging. This baby had not 
improved tmder the "granny" treatment of 
the neighborhood, in which there were no 
doctors. In consequence, it was now being 
taken to Beaufort to receive the antitoxin — 
that new remedy for which such miracles were 
claimed. Even as the man was speaking, the 
baby was seized with a fit of strangling that 
brought it almost to the point of death. 

Came a transformation scene. Here was 
no longer Garnet, the crazed drug fiend. In 
his stead was revealed the man and the physi- 
cian — ^he who in times of distress and suffering 



GARNET THE HERO 177 

s 

had alwajrs given his services to the best of 
his ability. In this moment the old instinct 
rose dominant. He called to them in a loud 
clear voice. 

"I Jam a physician. If you will permit me 
I'll come aboard and try to give temporary 
relief. Something must be done promptly, 
or the child will die." 

In order to save Ethel as far as possible 
from any danger of contagion, Garnet brought 
the laimch alongside the stem of the fishing 
boat, since the baby was in the bow. As he 
stepped aboard the other craft he bade one 
of the men let the launch drop back astern 
to full length of the painter. While this was 
being done, the physician, medicine case in 
hand, hurried to the child that lay struggling 
spasmodically in its mother's arms. An in- 
stant of examination showed to Garnet's 
practiced eyes that the throat was almost 
completely filled with the membrane charac- 
teristic of the disease, and that it must be only 
a matter of minutes before suffocation would 
ensue imless effective measures for relief were 
taken. A glance to the shore two miles away 
told him that the delay in reaching it would 



178 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

prove fatal to his patient's chances. It was 
evident that if the baby's life were to be saved 
he must act — ^and act now. Nor did he hes- 
itate. With lightning-like rapidity he took 
out his emergency kit of surgeons' tools. 
He bade the most intelligent-appearing of the 
men hold the child according to his precise 
directions. Then, with his coat off and 
shirt sleeves rolled up, Doctor Garnet braced 
himself in the tossing boat and performed the 
operation of tracheotomy, while the mother 
crouched weeping and pra3ring with her face 
hidden in her hands. 

Presently, the sufferer grew quiet, for now 
it was able to breathe again. Thanks to 
the great skill of this man, once again a life 
had been saved. 

The parents of the child were profuse in 
the expressions of heartfelt gratitude. They 
would have given what little money they had 
to this savior of their child. But Garnet, of 
course, would take no fee for his services. He 
diverted the chorus of thanks by offering to 
take in tow the disabled fishing boat and 
bring it to the shore, whence means could 
be secured for their going on to Beaufort. He 



GARNET THE HERO 179 

insisted that in spite of what he had done, the 
baby should be taken to the town, in order to 
receive treatment with the antitoxin. 

Throughout all the scene, Ethel had watched 
the physician with eyes in which shone pride 
and affection. It seemed to her that this 
man was one who fought always to relieve 
distress according to the best measure of his 
strength. 

"He has succored me," she mused with a 
warm glow in her heart. 

"He is taking me to my home — ^to Roy. 
He has stopped only long enough to rescue 
another sufferer from the jaws of death — even 
as he rescued me. He is a hero." 



CHAPTER XV 
Adrift with a Madman 

THE afflicted child showed marked signs 
of improvement by the time The 
IsdbeVs tender, with its tow, reached 
the small hamlet of Atlantic — a cluster of 
fishermen's houses and two stores built on a 
bluff to the westerly side of Core Soimd. 
There the disabled boat was pulled out upon 
the beach so that the stem was exposed and 
workmen could get at the injured shaft. 
The work of repair was simple. Soon the 
craft was restored to nmning condition, and 
its passengers went on their way, their hearts 
filled with new hopes for the safety of the 
child. 

Ethel remained at the wharf, since the 
steep climb up the bluff must have proved 
too trying for her injtired ankle. But the 
Doctor, acting imder the girl's instructions, 

i8o 



ADRIFT WITH A MADMAN 181 

made his way up the hillside to the stores in 
order to purchase for her some necessary 
apparel to replace that lost in the wreck. 
There was occasion also to buy additional 
gasoline for the laimch. With these things 
provided, the two again set forth on their 
voyaging. 

The physician, though he appeared genial 
enough, was in fact greatly perturbed. He 
had tried in vain to secure morphia at either 
of the stores in Atlantic. He took advantage 
of his absence from Ethel to administer an- 
other injection, so that for the present the 
craving was stilled. But he was filled with 
dread for the futtire. While the launch 
moved forward steadily through the calm 
water, he secretly counted again the pellets 
remaining in the vial. Heartsick, he realized 
the truth. It was a matter only of a few 
hours before his stock of the drug would be 
entirely exhausted. In such a situation, 
knowing as he did the horrible suffering that 
must ensue to him for lack of morphia, 
Garnet did not hesitate. He had learned 
by inquiries that there was a physician at 
Portsmouth, on the south side of Ocracoke 



182 WHEN THE COCK CROWS . 

Inlet, at the extreme northerly end of Core 
Banks. He must direct the launch thither, 
there to seek relief from his fellow practi- 
tioner. There was even the possibility of 
whiskey to mitigate his torture, for as one of 
the natives had informed him in Atlantic, 
*'No'th Caroliny wasn't plumb bone- 
dry." 

For some time now, Ethel Marion had 
closely watched her companion. She could 
not but perceive how different was his manner 
from that of the man who, for years, had 
visited her father's house whenever medical 
aid was needed. Formerly he had been full 
of life and vigor; a man of most aflFable bear- 
ing, while now he was morose, almost dif- 
fident. Since her return to consciousness, she 
had not once seen a smile on his face. In- 
stead, his expression was always abstracted 
and remote. Moreover, at times, the girl 
had seen him turn his face quickly to the 
south as if moved by some irresistible and 
baneful attraction. And, too, at such times 
he had shuddered visibly. Ethel felt con- 
vinced that there remained something very 
frightful in the story still to be told concern- 



ADRIFT WITH A MADMAN 183 

ing the wreck of the yacht. As she watched 
the man, a vague fear developed in her — a 
fear of him, for him. She had as yet no sus- 
picion that she had been in mortal peril 
through the act of this man. But she was 
more than half convinced that he could be 
no longer a safe protector, for the peculiarity 
of his appearance and manner soon con- 
vinced her that he was actually deranged. It 
was evident that he desired to be left to his 
own musings. So, for a long time, she re- 
frained from any attempt toward conversa- 
tion. She even feigned sleep, but through the 
long, brown lashes she continued to study the 
worn and harassed visage before her. And 
it was during this period of sly observation 
that she detected his deft resort to the hypo- 
dermic syringe. She witnessed as well the 
febrile anxiety with which he once more in- 
spected the number of pellets. She noted 
with dismay the horror in his drawn feattares 
as he stared at the vial. Her ears even 
caught his whispered words: 

"Only two!" 

But before the startled and apprehensive 
girl could formulate a conclusion as to the 



184 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

significance of what she had seen and heard, 
there came an interruption. 

In the spring great numbers of shad jour- 
ney from the depths of the Atlantic to their 
spawning grounds far up in the head waters 
of the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers. The Sound 
fisherman is alert to know the time of their 
coming and stakes his gill nets all along the 
TDiLes upon miles of shallows away from the 
buoy-marked channel of the Sotmd, in order 
that he may gain for himself the high prices 
paid in the northern n^rkets for these deli- 
cacies of the sea. It is the rule that after the 
shad season the stakes to which the nets had 
been tied shall be removed. But sometimes 
carelessness, or worse, leaves the stakes in 
their places. In many instances these are 
broken off below the surface of the water by 
the buffeting of the waves. Thus invisible, 
they become a serious menace in the course 
of small boats. Sometimes in rough water, a 
boat falling from a wave has struck on one of 
these to have its bottom pierced, and forth- 
with to fill and sink. 

It was one of these stakes that now caused 
catastrophe. The sloping stem scraped over 



ADRIFT WITH A MADMAN 186 

it. Next instant, the brittle bronze propeller 
blades rasped against it. They were swept 
off as smoothly as icicles from a window ledge, 
and the homeward cruise of the frail little 
tender was at an end. 

There came a scream from Ethel, which was 
echoed by a groan from the physician as his 
thoughts went in despair to the two pellets — 
only two ! It was with the mechanical action 
of the experienced yachtsman that he threw 
the throttle of the engine as it raced free from 
the propeller's resistance. 

"Oh, Doctor," the girl cried, *'what is it 
now? What has happened to us — " 

"Our propeller blades are stripped. Miss 
Marion," he answered, in a tone of deep de- 
jection. "There is no injury to the hull, of 
course, or we would have taken in water 
already. There is no danger, but," he con- 
cluded with great bitterness, "it is very dis- 
couraging, I must admit." a 

"What shall we do. Doctor? — drift with 
the wind until we are picked up by some 
passing vessel? " 

"I think not. Miss Ethel," Garnet replied. 
"Judging from the direction of the breeze, in 



186 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

less than an hotir we shall come on the shore 
of Core Banks." 

He spoke in a new voice of gentleness as 
he continued: 

"Pray do not worry. I don't believe there 
is an acre of water that we will pass over where 
the depth would be above our arm-pits.** 

The thought of being stranded upon the 
barren Core Banks would have been serious 
enough to awaken dread in the heart of any 
woman, even in the company of a sane person. 
But Ethel Marion had her distress instantly 
increased by the fact that the man with her 
was of unsound mind. She had a general 
idea of how far they would be distant from 
any human habitation. This very strip of 
sand had been pointed out to her many times 
by the local p^ot aboard her father's yacht. 
Now, there came crashing into her tortured 
brain memories of tales told by that same 
pilot; concerning treasure secreted there years 
agone by the pirate Black Beard; concern- 
ing the weird lights that rose from the sands 
at night, then mysteriously vanished; con- 
cerning the evil beach-combers who burned 
here their flares to trick the skippers of ships 



ADRIFT WITH A MADMAN 187 

out at sea and deliver them to death upon 
these sands, where the bones of the vessels 
might be picked at ease; concerning the utter 
isolation of this region, where no human 
beings were to be fotmd short of Portsmouth 
at one end and Cape Lookout at the other — 
fifty miles apart. a 

The launch drifted slowly, but none the 
less surely, toward the strip of sterile bleak- 
ness broken only by the huddled masses of 
the dunes. As she saw them that morning 
from the porch of Squire Goodwin's home, 
Ethel had thought them a splendid and in- 
spiring spectacle. Now, tmder the changed 
circumstances, their nearer aspect terrified 
her. She felt a desperate wonder as to what 
fate might hold in store. 

By a mighty effort of will, the girl forced 
back the fear that threatened to overcome her. 
She addressed Garnet in a voice that trem- 
bled only slightly. 

" Would it not be better to drop the anchor, 
and remain out here where we could surely be 
seen by passing boats?" 

The Doctor shook his head in negation as 
he answered: 



188 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

"No, Miss Ethel. It would be of no use, 
for we are too fax from the traveled route. 
Besides, you have been so long cramped up 
aboard this little boat that it's imperative 
that you should stretch yourself ashore. As 
far as the fishermen are concerned, we can 
make signals to them on shore as well as from 
here, better in fact." 

He pointed suddenly. 

"I can make out a rough fisherman's shack 
over yotmder between the dimes. There's 
no chance of its being occupied at this season, 
but the shelter afforded by it will mean every- 
thing to you." 

Ethel looked in the direction indicated. 

"Oh, yes, Doctor, I see it. I suppose it 
wotild help in an emergency, but I do hope 
we shall not be compelled to pass a night in 
this desolate place." 

The physician's voice was surcharged with 
gloom — ^perhaps from pity for himself rather 
than for her — ^as he replied. 

"It's already near stmdown, so I'm greatly 
afraid we must pass at least a night in this 
wretched place. There is just one chance. 
Should the wind veer a little further to the 



ADRIFT WITH A MADMAN 189 

southward, I could possibly use a pole and 
so push the boat up along tiie shore toward 
Portsmouth. But while the breeze remains 
in its present quarter, we have no choice but 
to stay here marooned. I only wish we had 
taken on more supplies at Atlantic. Should 
I be obliged to go on foot to Portsmouth in 
order to bring back a boat for you, a collection 
of canned goods would prove capital company 
for you during my absence." 

Ethel regarded the physician with surprise, 
and a tremulous smile bent her lips, for this 
was his first and only attempt at humor 
throughout all the trip. But as she studied 
his face, with its lugubrious expression, she 
came to the conclusion that, after all, he had 
not in the least meant to be funny; had, on 
the contrary, spoken in all seriousness. 

Presently, the waves bore the tender gently 
upon the shelving strip of sand. Ethel re- 
mained on board, while Garnet went to make 
an inspection of the hut- 
Shrimp, too, hurriedly hopped from the 
tiny deck forward, and when he found him- 
self safe ashore expressed his gratification by a 
lusty crow — ^his first during the voyage. 



190 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Garnet f otind the accommodations far bet- 
ter than he could have expected. The shack 
contained a small cook-stove, cooking uten- 
sils, clean bunks, some chairs and a table. 
He returned and aided Ethel to disembark. 
Then, still holding her hand, he led her toward 
the shack. 

She went in a mood of dire foreboding to- 
ward this miserable shelter, under the escort 

■ 

of a man whom she now knew to be crazed. 



CHAPTER XVI 
The Coming-out Party 

AS Captain Ichabod left the physician's 
hotise after having made his confes- 
sion, Doctor Hudson stood watching 
him while he walked briskly away. 

"See how that old devil is stepping it off 
down the street like a four-year-old," was the 
observer's comment. "He really has taken 
on a new lease of life, and materia medica 
didn't have a finger in the pie, either. If it 
had happened a few- years earlier that he had 
a chance to tell Sandy Mason what he thought 
of him, and to save a woman from drowning, 
likely as not there'd have been a wife and 
children on the Island to-day to cheer the old 
fellow's declining years! It's a shame that 
cat of a woman ever crossed his path, for he's 
one of the best-meaning, greatest-hearted men 

in the county." 

191 



192 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Suddenly, the Doctor chuckled. 

"By George, I have an idea, and 1*11 get 
busy on it. Yes, sir, I'll take the old rascal 
at his word." With that, Doctor Hudson 
disappeared inside his house and shut the 
door after him. 

The government wireless station at Beau- 
fort is built upon an island, which is sepa- 
rated from the mainland by the narrow chan- 
nel of New Port River just before it empties 
into the sea. Now, Captain Jones went at 
once to the government wharf, where he se- 
cured the services of a small boy to row him 
to the island. On his arrival, he was warmly 
welcomed, for he was as popular there as 
with the men of the coast guard. As he 
entered the small receiving-room, the instru- 
ments were spitting out dots and dashes, 
with all kinds of sparks for accompaniment. 
The principal operator was taking down a 
message. As soon as the task was ended, he 
whirled about and greeted the old fisherman 
enthusiastically. 

"Why, howdy. Captain Ichabod — glad to 
see you. It's sure fine of you to come over. 
I understand thereVe been some exciting 



THE COMING-OUT PARTY 198 

times up in yotir neck of the woods. By the 
way, what was the name of the yacht that 
went on the rock?'* 

"It was The Isabel, of New York," replied 
Ichabod. 

"Is that so!" exclaimed the operator. "If 
that's the case, I reckon this message I jtist 
yanked out of the air will be of interest to 
you." 

He handed the paper to the Captain, who, 
after finding his spectacles and adjusting 
them carefully, read aloud the following: 

"To all port officers : 

Motor-driven yacht Isabel of New York, put to sea 
without clearance papers. Investigation shows she 
was probably stolen. Daughter of owner a prisoner 
on board. If located in your vicinity arrest boat and 
all members of crew. Make diligent search for young 
woman and release her. 

The bulletin was signed by an oflScer of 
the Treasury Department. 

"We'll I'll be doggoned ! " cried the Captain, 
in great astonishment. " I knowed that feller 
was some kind o' a bad egg, but now I believe 
to goodness he was pltamb sp'ilt. That poor 



194 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

little brown-eyed gal! What a pity! I wish 
I'd a held right smack onto her — ^tiiat I do." 

"I suppose," the operator rejoined, "that 
btilletin has been picked up by all of the sta- 
tions, so that the boys are keepin' a sharp 
lookout to overhaul the yacht and pinch the 
bunch, an' especially to save the girl. I'll 
get this over to the Collector of Ctistoms right 
away. He'll want to report the escape of 
the man and woman and to give the direction 
they went." 

"Ye'd better tell him to mention the dead 
feller, an' that he was tied down." 

"That's right, Uncle Ichabod. Say, but 
there's a lot of mystery about this affair. 
I'll bet my boots you haven't heard the last 
of it." 

"Maybe not," the fisherman admitted. 
" But, by cracky, since what I've been through 
a'ready they can't skeer Ichabod. No, not 
by a damned sight!" 

It was very seldom that Captain Jones 
used a profane expression. When he did, it 
was with deliberate intention. 

Upon this island where the wireless outfit is 
stationed, the government has another institu- 



THE COMING-OUT PARTY 195 

tion — SL laboratory where studies are made in 
sea life. It includes a remarkable musetim, 
which is visited by students from far and near. 
There are power boats equipped for dredging 
at considerable depth in order to bring to 
light the secret things of the sea. Many of 
the curios are contributed by the fishermen, 
who are continually dragging forth in their 
nets objects strange to them. When a thing 
of real rarity is brought to the laboratory, a 
snug sum is paid to the finder. The Captain 
himself had always a ready eye for an3rthing 
that might prove of value, and his finds from 
time to time netted him a tidy profit. To-day 
he had with him a variety of sea porcupine 
new to him, which he had found in his net 
a few days before. So now, on leaving the 
wireless station, Ichabod visited the labora- 
tory, where the sea porcupine was duly deliv- 
ered and brotight in return a satisfactory sum 
of money. Here, too, he retold once again 
all his experiences in connection with the 
wreck of The Isabel. By the time this was 
done, the afternoon was well spent. The old 
man was rowed back to the mainland, where 
he entered the red skiff and set sail homeward. 



196 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

As he passed up the bay, the tide was low, 
80 that in many places the shoals and rocks 
were exposed. Captain Ichabod, reclining 
lazily in the stem sheets of the skiff, tiller in 
hand, listened to the noisy clatter of the gulls, 
which in vast swarms were feeding on their 
favorite scallops. 

Ages ago, the gulls discovered that the 
fluted shell must be broken ere the luscious 
morsel within could be obtained. It was 
wholly impossible for them to crush the 
stonelike casing with their bills. So the birds 
devised another means. This was to carry 
the shell high aloft, then drop it on the shoals. 
If it fell on a hard surface, it would be 
broken open, and the scallop within would 
be promptly devoured by the gull following. 
When the shell fell in a soft place, and re- 
mained unbroken the bird would merely con- 
tinue its efforts until finally crowned with 
success. Ichabod, idly watching such re- 
peated trials, was induced to meditation on 
the lesson thus taught. 

''It shore is a pity that arter Roxana Lee" 
— ^the name came easily now — "arter a-stab- 
bin' o' me in the back — ^yes, it's a pity 



THE COMING-OUT PARTY 197 

that I didn't do sort o' like that Scotch feller 
that watched the spider try an* try an' try 
ag'in till at last he spun his web whar he 
aimed to. Why, when he saw what that- 
thar crab-lookin' son-of-a-gun could do, he 
jumped right up, an', a-bucklin' himself 
around a leetle tighter, went out and cleaned 
up a whole mess that was arter him. By 
cracky! all I had to do was to come right out 
to these sand shoals an' oyster rocks an' 
watch them noisy gulls a-tryin' an' a-tryin', 
an' at last bustin' a scallop. I jest believe, 
if I'd done that, then I'd have got right square 
up an' licked Sandy Mason, an' told Rox- 
ana what I thought o' her no-'coimtness, an* 
then I might have married the best-lookin' 
woman in Caxtaret County. 

''But, then, what's the use?" he continued, 
as he drew the sheet in a little closer, so hold- 
ing the skiff more into the wind, in order to 
round a point of marsh land. . "That's an- 
cient history, an' I ain't a-goin' to study 
it. I've done turned over a new leaf. I 
hope, Idiabod, ye'll live right an' die 
happy." 

The skiff was nearing the home port. Cap- 



198 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

tain Ichabod's attention was called to a 
sound of happy voices — ^women's notes, as he 
expressed it. Unless he was much mistaken, 
it came from his own Island. 

The old fisherman, true to his instinct of 
fear in reference to womankind, loosened the 
sheet, so that the skiflf might slide by and let 
him leam more definitely what might be the 
meaning of this invasion. 

The matter was not long in doubt. As he 
rounded a point, he saw them. It seemed to 
him there were a dozen or more of women. 
They were not only upon the Island: the 
shack door stood open. There were women 
actually going in and out through the en- 
trance — ^busy as bees. . • . Upon the shore, 
a great fire was burning. 

Ichabod, who had been brave for three days, 
now began to be afraid of this influx of fem- 
inine furbelows — this show of skirts. Twice 
Ichabod tacked with a desire to take a run- 
ning look at his own Island; and twice he 
dared not make a landing because of the 
feminine contingent on shore. But, when he 
sailed the red skiff by his homeland for the 
third time, he recognized a pudgy figure on 



THE COMING-OUT PARTY 199 

the shore, which was waving frantically to- 
ward him. 

"Oh, hell!" Ichabod spoke, with great in- 
dignation. ''If it ain't Hudson! Consam 
him, he has took me at my word an' if 
he hain't brought a flock o' 'em! I didn't 
aim to run away, nohow, I jest forgot fer 
a minute thet I had reformed. I wonder 
what the fire means? It's mighty early yet 
for an oyster roast, but they are a-gittin' fat." 

The Doctor met the old fellow at the land- 
ing. Ichabod wore a sheepish look, while, on 
the contrary, the physician's good-natured 
face was wreathed in smiles. 

"Throw me your painter, Captain!" 
shouted the medical man. "When I get that 
in hand I'll feel sure that you are really 
here!" 

Old Icky went forward, wound the sail 
neatly around the mast, removed the rudder, 
pulled up the center-board, and then tossed to 
Hudson a line to be turned arotmd the piling. 
Ichabod stepped ashore, nonplused. His ex- 
pression was stem and forbidding as he ad- 
vanced on his friend, the Doctor, and de- 
manded the meaning of all this. 



SOO WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

''Why, Captain Ichabod/* came the an- 
swer, ''the women folks up there have named 
this meeting Ichabod Jones' coming-out party. 
You know in great cities where there's a heap 
of society, when a girl reaches an age that 
they think it is time for her to be setting her 
cap, they arrange a swell party to let the 
fellows know that the yoimg lady is eligible. 
So, you see, that's the case to-day. Only, 
this time, it's a man that has come out 
of his shell, and you can believe me that 
shell was the hardest one I ever tried to 
crack!" 

"Say, Hudson, did I tell ye I was a-lookin' 
fer a woman? No, sir; I only said as how 
they was welcome to come to the Island. 
This how-dy-do o' your'n I call a-rubbin' it in 
pretty hard. If it's a joke with you, it hain't 
with me." r 

"Now, old friend, don't get peeved. I'll 
tell you just how it came about. After you 
left my house, I went out to pay some pro- 
fessional calls. Ichabod, your name's in 
everybody's mouth. They all asked ques- 
tions about you, knowing how close friends 
we are. What could I do but just up and teU 



THE COMING-OUT PABTY 201 

how you had seen the light and had hit the 
trail for happiness; how all women were to 
be welcome at the Island from now on, and 
how the latch-string would be hanging always 
on the outside of the shack door? I had no 
sooner arrived home than one of these good 
ladies called me up and asked me if I would 
mind escorting a few of them to the Island to 
congratulate you on your quitting playing 
Rip Van Winkle as far as women were con- 
cerned. I just told the pretty creatures I'd 
be only too glad to go with them, • • • Shake 
hands, Ichabod. Let yotir family physician 
be the first to welcome you back." 

Realizing that the whole trouble had been 
caused by his talking too much and that no 
one was to blame save himself, the old man 
smiled somewhat wryly as he grasped his 
friend's extended hand. > 

"Say, Doc,*' he declared, "I always did 
like a joke where it didn't hurt none. So, I 
ain't a-goin' to make ye out untruthful to 
that passal o' women." 

With that, the fisherman slipped his arm 
within the Doctor's, and walked forward spir- 
itedly toward his doom — as he mentally 



202 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

termed this social ordeal. It was indeed his 
coming-out party, and never a debutante 
so secretly tremulous and shy as Captain 
Icky, 



CHAPTER XVII 
Strangers at Ichabod's Island 

THE friendly squeeze that Doctor Hudson 
was giving Ichabod's arm as they 
advanced toward the group of women 
heartened the old man mightily. A few days 
since, he would have felt that he was being 
led as a martyr to be bumed at the stake. 
But now, in the twinkling of an eye, every- 
thing was changed- It is true that he felt a 
keen embarrassment over this introduction 
to feminine society after his isolation from it 
for twenty years- Yet his natural courage 
dominated ttds embarrassment, so that he 
faced the trial bravely enough. 

The Doctor explained to him that a formal 
introduction to the ladies would be necessary. 

"That is," Hudson continued, "to all ex- 
cept one. You are already acquainted with 
the one just now coming out of the shack 

door with your vinegar bottle in her hand. 

303 



204 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

It's Miss Sarah Porter that I*m referring to. 
She has told me that vou have talked with 
her on more than one occasion about your 
domestic troubles and your lonely life. She 
has told me, too, that she tried her best to 
give you advice that would be good for you." 

Ichabod replied defensively. 

"Wall, I cal'late I've been a-tryin' to take 
her advice!" 

It was even as Doctor Hudson had said. 
In spite of the sharp eyes and wagging tongues 
of the townsfolk, few had known that the old 
fisherman occasionally visited Miss Porter in 
the hostelry managed by her for many years, 
and that there he had listened gratefully to 
her words of kindly admonition. As a matter 
of fact, long before the Lee woman entered 
into the fisherman's life, he had felt very 
kindly toward Miss Porter, and his attentions 
had been well received by her. It is very 
possible that he might have offered himself 
to her years ago, had it not been for a con- 
scientious scruple as to his jilted self being 
unworthy. So, he saw her only at rare inter- 
vals, and then only when he brought fish to 
sell, thus making business his excuse. There 



STRANGERS AT ICHABOD'S ISLAND 205 

had been to him a certain comfort in the fact 
that this vivacious woman of sixty had never 
married. He even dared to wonder sometimes 
with a thrill of vanity if her feeling toward 
him could have been the cause of her spin- 
sterhood. And this was always followed by 
an emotion of disgust with himself that he 
should ever have f oimd the company of Rox- 
ana more to his liking than that of the pleasant 
and wholesome Sarah. 

When the Captain saw Miss Porter with 
the vinegar bottle in her hand, he knew that 
the visitors were preparing an oyster roast, 
which, of course, accotmted for the fire of 
twigs and seaweed. Now, the other women 
stood in a row, while Sarah, her face wreathed 
in smiles, came forward to greet her old lover. 
This done, she formally presented Ichabod 
to the other guests. The fisherman's in- 
creased embarrassment expressed itself in a 
sheepish grin, when it suddenly dawned on 
him that every one of the women there before 
him was unmarried. Dr. Hudson remarked 
afterward that Ichabod looked to him as if 
he were convinced that each and every one 
was "after him!" 



206 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Nevertheless, once the introductiQns were 
over, the Captain fotrnd himself at ease in 
a manner quite stirprising. Every one of the 
visitors seemed to enter into the spirit of the 
affair with a whole-hearted geniality that was 
infectious, and tmder this benignant influence 
the host was filled with an unaccustomed 
happiness. He at once began to assist in 
the roasting of the oysters, which the women 
had gathered from the rocks. He gave them 
carte blanche to help themselves to plates 
and forks and such other things as were need- 
ful from the shack. 

None was so rude as to refer to Ichabod^s 
reformation. But Sarah Porter, whenever 
she caught his eye, gave him a look that spoke 
as plainly as words: 

''Ichabod Jones, at last I have found you 
a man, and I am proud of you!" 

No doubt she congratulated herself, with 
justice, on the fact that her talks with him had 
had much to do with this change. She was 
the only one in the party of mature age; 
the others were copiparatively young and 
sprightly maidens. This selection of guests 
was due to the fine Italian hand of the Doc- 



STRANGERS AT ICHABOD'S ISLAND «07 



^ / 



tor. Evidently, he was hard at work on a 
plan to make Ichabod Jones a provider, 
rather than trying to find him a place as 
housekeeper, in accordance with the fisher- 
man's original request. 

The hours passed delightfully for all — espe- 
cially for the host whose pleasure was edged 
by the novelty of the situation in which he 
foimd himself. It was not imtil the moon 
showed in the east that the visitors made 
ready for departure. Just before the party 
embarked, the boldest of the maidens kissed 
the old man's weather-beaten cheek. There 
was a btirst of laughter from the onlookers. 
Ichabod could feel himself blushing furiously, 
but that blush was invisible tmder the deep 
tan. Then the others thus saluted him, one 
by one — ^all save Sarah Porter. 

She bestowed herself in the laimch while 
the kissing was going on, and Ichabod, regard- 
ing her furtively with anxious eyes, read in 
her expression signs of strong disapproval, 
which disconcerted him hugely, and robbed 
him in great measure of his just due of enjoy- 
ment under the osculatory attack. 

Then, it was all over! The old man stood 



208 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

waving his hat mechanically as the launch 
glided away. Ichabod watched with unseeing 
eyes. He was in a daze, thinking more in 
sorrow than in anger of ''how fer he had let 
them minxes go with him — ^an' Sary a-lookin' 
on, too!" He shook his head despondently, 
as he reflected that the closing incident would 
have been more agreeable if ''Sary hadn't 
been a-lookin' on." 

Once more, Ichabod Jones burned midnight 
oil. In the early evening he brought his easy 
chair out in front, where he could see the 
glistening waters and watch the moon climb 
high. He smoked pipeful after pipeful of his 
strong tobacco. Again he made rings, and 
thought, and wondered. It was after ten 
before he arose and went into the shack, 
lighted his oil lamp, laid out his paper and 
pencil, and proceeded to add more to the 
record that he had started. No doubt, after 
his long reverie in the moonlight, he had come 
to the conclusion that the fact of his being 
kissed by ten yoimg women and having one 
more making eyes at him in one day, the first 
of his reformation, was of moment enough to 
be recorded. 



STRANGERS AT ICHABOD'S ISLAND 209 

That night, as Ichabod finished his entry 
in the diary and leaned far back in his chair 
with chest expanded, his chin with its whift 
of beard thrown out at an angle of forty-five 
degrees, he reminded one of a cartoon of 
Uncle Sam when showing a self-satisfied air. 
The picture he portrayed at least conveyed 
the impression that he was monarch of all he 
surveyed and even dared once again to place 
his battle flag of conquest on the mainland of 
Cartaret Cotmty. 

As he put away his writing materials and 
prepared to retire to his lonely bunk, he again 
talked aloud. 

''It looks to me, by cracky, as if things was 
a-movin' jest a leetle too rapid fer a starter. 
It reminds me right smart o' a hoss race I 
saw at the fish and oyster fair, at New Bern, 
a spell back. The animal that I callated 
would win, he jest started off like a steam 
engine, an' when he got half way arotmd he 
was clean ahead o' the bimch. But by the 
time he reached the home-stretch, he was a 
swettin' like a mad bull an* puffin* like a 
grampus — ^an* every other hoss got in fust. 
Here I am now, kissed by ten o' the prettiest 



210 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

gals in Beaufort jest as the stm is a-settin' on 
my first day o' new manhood. I'm startin* 
too almighty fast. If I don't tame down 111 
lose out on the home-stretch. I opine Sara 
didn't like the idea o' that kissin' business. I 
was particular to hold my face straight out 
where she could see it an' not let my 
lips tech nary one o' 'em. But I guess 
it would be safer to go down an' tell Sara 
how partic'lar I was, an' how I wanted to 
tell 'em to stop, but didn't dar'st not to 
be polite." 

As Captain Ichabod lay in his btmk before 
falling asleep, he allowed his mind to dwell 
upon more serious things. He thought of the 
wireless message. What had become of the 
strange man, of the woman, and of his rooster, 
Shrimp? He wondered that there were no 
reports of their passing other boats. His 
heart was sore for that poor woman who had 
lain so long tmconscious upon his bed. His 
interest in her was vital, for he had saved her 
life. What could the man mean by thtis 
secretly hurrying away? Ichabod had asked 
himself this question many times. Now he 
knew beyond peradventure of doubt that the 



STRANGERS AT ICHABOD'S ISLAND 211 

fellow was a criminal, a refugee from justice, 
with a young woman of gentle birth in his 
power. ^ 

Ichabod's conscience smote him. He was 
ashamed that he had not instituted a search 
immediately after the fellow's disappearance 
from the Island. He had had the right to call 
on the Sheriff of the cotmty for aid. There 
had been plain theft. A pair of blankets 
had been stolen from him — as also his chan- 
ticleer. 

The monetary loss from this robbery meant 
nothing to the fisherman, but it would have 
served as an excuse for arresting the man, 
and thus rescuing his girl victim. . . . Icha- 
bod remembered the man chained to the 
engine in the sunken yacht. It was doubt- 
less this murderer who now had the girl in 
his power. Should it suit his ends, would 
that desperate man hesitate to murder even 
the girl herself — ^the girl he had saved from 
drowning? Ichabod decided that he would 
fulfill a belated duty by going to town next 
day, there to swear out a warrant of arrest 
against the abductor of the girl, that thus the 
Sheriff should have reason to search the waters 



812 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

of the Sotind in the hope of arresting the 
guilty man and rescuing his victim. . . . 

Despite the thrilling experiences of a day 
so tmaccustomedly feminine, the sturdy old 
fisherman, when he was done with his med- 
itations, slept sotmdly throughout the night. 
He was up at cock-crow — ^though there was 
no clarion call from Shrimp to awaken. 

It was while he was busy over the prepara- 
tion of a modest breakfast that there came 
the wailing cry of a yacht's siren. It sounded 
from the northward, evidently not far away 
from the Island. Captain Icky shut the 
drafts on the stove, pxished the coffee-pot 
back to a position where it would keep hot 
without boiling. Then he stepped outside 
the shack to watch the incoming vessel pass 
over the bar into the waters of the Inlet. He 
was impressed at first glance by the beautiful 
lines of the little vessel, which was evidently 
of light draft so she might cruise safely in 
shallow waters, while capable of weathering a 
storm-tossed sea. 

It was a new thing that a yacht of such size 
should come to anchor off the Island. Icha- 
bod watched curiously as the vessel slackened 



STRANGERS AT ICHABOD'S ISLAND 218 

heavily and then let a light anchor drop from 
the starboard side of the bow. Presently, he 
saw a small boat put off from the yacht, rowed 
by two sailors, and carrying two passengers 
in the stem. When he made sure that a land- 
ing was intended, Ichabod went down to the 
point to greet the unexpected visitors. 

As the boat touched the landing, the two 
men stepped ashore and advanced toward 
Ichabod, who greeted them hospitably. 

"Howdy, men! Ye are welcome to Icha- 
bod's Island. But it's a leetle imusual to 
have a call frbm boats o' your class. . • . 
Jones is my name — Captain Ichabod Jones, 
at your service ! " 

The shorter man stepped forward, and in- 
troduced himself as Jack Scott. He presented 
his companion as his friend, Roy Morton. 

"Captain Jones,'' the stranger began, "we 
are now, I take it, just at the entrance to the 
Beaufort Inlet." 

"Yes, yender is the Inlet," Ichabod replied. 

The other spoke with curt incisiveness. 

"We're in a hurry. We'd like to ask you a 
few questions. It's plain no craft of any size 
could pass your Island without attracting 



214 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

notice. We're looking for a yacht stolen 
from her anchorage in the North River, She 
has now been missing for several days. The 
last report weVe been able to get is that she 
was seen passing out of Pamlico into Core 
Soimd. Do you know the whereabouts of 
any such boat? Her name was The Isabel. 

''The Isabeir' Ichabod answered. ''Thar 
she lays!** 

The two men followed the direction of the 
homy hand — ^and saw! Roy Morton felt a 
sick dizziness crash upon him. In that mo- 
ment of agony, he believed that the girl he 
loved was forever lost. 



CHAPTER XVIII 
The Call of the Dark 

A FEW handfuls of sea water dashed 
into Roy's face by Ichabod, together 
with a rough massage by Van Dusen, 
soon brought the young man around again. 

''I must have the truth," he declared, "no 
matter how terrible. Was the young woman 
lost?'* 

"Why, no, yoimg man," the fisherman an- 
swered; "least-wise, not in the wreck. I 
took her out o' the water myself. She was 
plumb ftall o' swallered brine, but I had that 
out o* her in a jiffy. I took her into my 
shack an* got her all right exceptin' her haid. 
Poor thing never did speak to me but once." 

"Then she died!" Roy cried, in a tone of 
anguish. 

But Ichabod shook his head emphatically. 

"Not as I knows on," he declared; "un- 
less that nervous-actin' skunk has killed her 

215 



816 WHEN THE COCK CEOWS 

since he took her away in the small boat. 
Had I knowed what I Tamed yesterday at 
the wireless station, I'd 'a' held on to the gal. 
I saw she was pretty bad, not bein* able to 
talk, an' so I told the man I took off o* the 
wreck that what she needed was an M.D. 
Leavin' him in charge, fer he seemed to know 
a heap about medicine himself, I put the 
rag on the skiff, an' sailed to town fer the 
Doctor. When I got back, I fotmd that the 
thievin' rascal had stole my pet rooster, a 
pair o' blankets — ^an' the woman, an' had 
gone off in the gasoline tender what come 
ashore from the wreck. 0' course, they went 
up the Sotmd — ^to God knows whar! The 
woman ain't safe with no sich critter as that 
feller. If the gal is much to you, which I 
'lows she is from your tantrums, ye had best 
make all haste to git her. I was jest a-fixin' 
to go to Beaufort an' take out a warrant fer 
the feller fer murder, an' charter a gasoline 
boat, prepared to go through hell if need be 
to save that gal an' put the sallow-skinned 
varmint, what took her, behind the bars o' 
the county jail." 
"Warrant for murder?" Van Dusen de- 



THE CALL OP THE DARK 217 

manded, suddenly alert, "What do you mean, 
Captain Jones? Has this man killed some 
one?" 

"Wall, I recldn!'* Ichabod answered grimly* 
"Thar was a feller a-sailin* around the wreck 
o' The Isabel, which, as ye see, is all busted 
to pieces by an explosion after she struck an* 
the beatin' on her o' the big storm waves. 
When this feller looked down by the engine, 
he saw a dead man a-lookin* back up at him. 
He looked closter before he hurried away, an* 
saw that the poor devil was chained to the 
wreck. Now, that bein' the case, an* this 
feller that's got the gal bein* the man in 
charge o' the yacht, then why ain't he wanted 
for murder? " 

Van Dusen nodded his head understand- 
ingly. 

"This clears up part of the mystery," he 
said to Roy. "Now, if we can only catch 
Garnet and save Miss Marion, the case will 
be happily ended. The whole thing is dear 
in my mind, but we have still to find the 
proof." 

"Them's the names the feller give me," 
the fisherman vouchsafed, "when he intro- 



<i 



218 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

duced himself to me. I 'lowed he was *most 
crazy from his scare. Say, men! Do you 
know I think that feller was a-takin* dope, 
an\ furthermore, since I've had time to think 
it over, I'm almost certain I saw him puttin' 
some imder the gal's skin. As folks around 
here only use Baitman Drops or swallers pills, 
I took a spot on the gal's arm fer a skeeter 
btimp. I didn't know what the shiny thing 
was that he slipped in his pocket when he 
saw me a-lookin'. Since then the Doctor 
has told me he 'lowed it was a hjrpodermic. 
First he called it a gun, but when he discov- 
ered that I thought he meant a shootin' iron, 
because I said it was too small fer that, why, 
then he give me the other name. 0' course, I 
had heard that other name afore." ^ 

"This whole business is goin' to turn out 
just as I outlined it to you, Roy," Van Dusen 
asserted. "These things are unusual, but I 
don't think you need have any fears for Miss 
Marion, provided she doesn't starve, or meet 
with some accident through the foolhardiness 
of this crazy Garnet. The thing I suggest is 
to solicit the aid of Captain Jones, and have 
him act as our pilot. We should also charter 



THE CALL OF THE DARK 219 

several small gasoline boats and go through 
the waters of this shallow Sound and its trib- 
utaries like a fine-toothed comb- It's haste 
now that is important. We'll probably find 
the fellow hidden away in some remote fisher- 
man's home where he can administer to the 
wants of his patient, while avoiding capture, 
I believe that he is, even though deranged, 
terrorized at the thought of arrest, so that he 
will not dare come out into the open. That's 
the reason he left the comfortable quarters of 
the Island." 

Roy was all eagerness to begin the work 
forthwith, and Ichabod proffered all the 
assistance in his power. 
. "Jest a minute, men," he said, "till I 
swaller my coffee an' put out the fire, then 
Ichabod Jones will be ready to show ye 
every nook an' comer o* these-here waters; 
an' if that skunk ain't got out of 'em or 
gone to the bottom, we'll git him — an' git 
him right!" 

After leaving Norfolk, The Hialdo had 
covered many miles. Arthur Van Dusen 
when he acted, moved with deliberation as 
well as speed. Already, on the way downt 



820 WHEN TBOE COCK CROWS 

every avenue of escape had been blocked. 
It would have been impossible for The Isabel 
to escape over the route by which the pur- 
suers had come. She would have been 
seized the moment she showed at any port. 
The thoroughness of these precautionary 
measures was the reason why it was not 
until now that The Hialdo had dropped 
anchor at Beaufort Inlet. 

The only area that remained unsearched 
was the Core Sotmd section. The searchers 
had taken advantage of the night, when 
there was little else that they could do, to 
run down to the Inlet in order to find out if 
the yacht had passed out to sea through 
the channel. 

They were reasonably certain now ^that 
the Doctor and the young woman were not 
a great way off. Van Dusen was ^confident 
of speedily nmning down the culprit, and 
he was exultant over the prospect. But 
Roy was still tortured with anxiety con- 
cerning the safety of the girl he loved. 

Before coming out of the shack to go 
aboard The Hialdo, Ichabod took time to 
tidy up his person a little. This, for the 



THE CALL OF THE DARK 221 

stifficient reason that they were going first 
to Beatifort, where it might be that he 
would encoiinter Sarah Porter, It would 
never do for her to see him except properly 
''spruced up" for a trip to town. There 
was, in addition, the fact that he was about 
to go aboard a handsome yacht, where, as 
he knew, everybody went about habitually 
"dressed up." As he took a parting glance 
into his tiny bit of mirror, the old fisher- 
man indulged in a self-satisfied smirk, and 
spoke aloud. 

"I'd be willin* to bet that when them 
fine fellers gits to be as old as me, they 
can't tell as how ten single women kissed 
*em all in one day, an' another one, by 
cracky, made eyes an' jest didn't darst!" 

Having thus said, Ichabod hurried off to 
his visitors, and a minute later was follow- 
ing them up the ladder to the deck of 
The Hialdo. Van Dusen had taken on a 
pilot at Ocracoke, so that they had no 
trouble in following the intricate round- 
about ship's channel to the town. 

Captain Ichabod directed the place of 
anchorage. This was in the small channel 



222 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

directly in front of the Inlet Hotel, where 
Sarah Porter reigned supreme. They would 
use her wharf in going ashore. He ad- 
mitted to himself that he had been pleased 
over being kissed by the "yotmg fry**; but 
he also admitted that the chief appeal to 
him had been made by the elderly woman 
who had looked on so disapprovingly from 
her place in the Doctor's launch. 

Van Dusen was anxious to call first upon 
the Collector of the Port. That office here 
•had become, of late years, rather unim- 
portant, since the action of the tides had 
filled the Inlet with sand, to such an extent 
that very few vessels of the ocean-going 
steamer type could get over the bar. The 
Collector's business was confined to seeing 
that yachts and other vessels of small draft 
had their proper papers. There was no 
United States Marshal located in the town, 
and the case of The Isabel was plainly one 
to be handled by the Treasury Department. 

It was unnecessary for Ichabod to guide 
the detective ftirther than the wharf, for 
the Custom House, with its identifying flag, 
stood near the landing. So, the Captain felt 



THE CALL OF THE DARK 22S 

himself at liberty to visit the hotel, where 
he reclined at ease in a rocking chair on the 
porch, and enjoyed an intermittent conver- 
sation with the hostess of the inn. Roy 
remained on board the yacht, at his friend^s 
bidding, in order to recover from the shock 
he had suffered on hearing Ichabod's story. 

Van Dusen found the Collector anxious to 
be of service in every possible way. He sug- 
gested that the services of the Sheriff should 
be enlisted, and that a warrant for the 
arrest of Doctor Garnet should be secured 
from the Justice of the Peace, for robbery, to 
be sworn to by Ichabod, since that offense 
had been committed within the jurisdiction 
of the state courts. 

The Sheriff, when called up over the tel- 
ephone, agreed to supply three deputies, 
each equipped with a copy of the warrant. 
Finally, two small laimches, each carrying 
one of the Sheriff's men, were chartered to 
voyage in different directions for the search, 
while the third would go aboard The Hialdo. 
Other business prevented the Sheriff from 
giving his personal aid in the quest. Icha- 
bod was interrupted during l:ds pleasuring 



224 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

on the porch by a telephone call, which re- 
quested him to report at once to Squire 
Chadwick's office in order to swear to the 
necessary papers. 

But the fisherman forgot the imperative 
stimmons as his hostess came out on the 
porch to bid him farewell. 

"Do ye realize, Sarah Porter, that this is 
the very fust time in over twenty year that 
I've come to your house except on business, 
without some fishes, terrapin, scallops, or 
sich to sell fer the hotel?" 

Miss Porter blushed like a girl. 

"Well, seein' as how you mention it, I 
reckon it's a fact." Her maimer did not 
betray how often she had wondered, and 
perhaps grieved, over that fact during the 
score of years. ^ 

Then, Ichabod at last took heart of cour- 
age, and spoke boldly: 

"This time, Sarah, arter due deliberation, 
an' study, Ichabod has come to ye to give 
something away. Tain't nothin' that comes 
out o' these waters or sands or marshes. 
Tain't gold, nor yit silver, but somethin' 
that nobody in all these years could 'a' 



THE CALL OF THE DARK 225 

bought, had they tried. Could ye guess 
what it mout be, Sarah?" 

There came a certain dreaminess into the 
woman's eyes, which, if a little dimmed, had 
by no means lost their luster. 

"I never was good at guessing, Ichabod,'* 
she said simply. "I cal'late you'll jest have 
to tell me. I know from the way you speak 
that it must be something perfectly splen- 
did." 

"Wall, now, you may think it more wuth- 
less than plain seaweed, an' if ye do, why 
ye must speak right out, Sarah. What I 
have come to offer ye is Ichabod Jones' 
love!" 

Ichabod waited through a full minute for 
the answer that failed to come. The wom- 
an's eyes were gazing out over the broad 
expanse of the Atlantic, which opened so 
gloriously before them. He took one of her 
hands in his, and pressed it gently as he 
went on speaking. 

"It's true that I'm some old, but I ain't 
crippled. An' arter all these years o' — ^yes, 
oh, hell! — I want to be loved ag'in. Sarah, 
I'll tell ye, an' it's God's truth, I never did 



226 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

love that triflin* woman. I have come to 
that idea arter a long time o' thinkin'. I 
was young, an' I thought I loved her, but, 
Sarah, I just had my haid turned. Time is 
now telUn' my true feelin's." 

Still the woman made no answer, but her 
very silence gave encouragement to the 
wooer. 

"I'm through with fishin' an' lonely livin', 
whether or no, Sarah. All these years that 
I've htmg around alone, it hain't cost me 
much to live, an' I've got a right smart o' 
money saved up. Ye know, this hotel ain't 
big 'nough fer all the Yankees that'd like to 
stop on the way up an' down offen their 
yachts. I was a-thinkin' las' night what a 
thing it'd be for me an' you to be real part- 
ners, an' let me spend some o' the savin's 
to double the size o' the hotel, an' hire 
'nough help to take the strain offen you in 
runnin' o' it." 

The mingling of romance and practical 
worldly advantage won Miss Porter's con- 
sent to the plea of her suitor. Perhaps, 
either would have sufficed of itself; cer- 
tainly, together, they were irresistible. Ich- 



THE CALL OF THE DARK 227 

abod was all a-tremble with happiness and 
pride, as the spinster coyly offered her 
cheek to his kiss. 

He started guiltily a moment later, as a 
huge negress appeared in the doorway, and 
bawled at him : 

"Mr. Ichabod, the 'phone is a-callin' yoh- 
all." 



CHAPTER XIX 
Bottled Up 

CAPTAIN ICHABOD JONES stepped 
briskly into Squire Chadwick*s court- 
room — ^which was otherwise the par- 
lor in his modest home. Van Dusen, that 
very shrewd detective, observed that the 
old man trod with a jatmtier step than here- 
tofore, and that his expression was one of 
smug complacency. He wondered a little as 
to just what might have occurred to make 
this change so swiftly. He could not guess 
that a romance of twenty years was con- 
cerned, but his observant eyes told him 
that in some mysterious fashion this aged 
native had foimd a new happiness in life 
within the hour. 

That happiness indeed was a thing as- 
sured in the opinion of Captain Ichabod. 
The smile that Van Dusen f otmd so hard to 
interpret was the outward expression of 

328 



BOTTLED UP 229 

great things within the old man's soul* He 
had loved his loneliness. Now, he was re- 
joicing that no more would his life be 
lonely! The gulls and fish-hawks and sand- 
crabs could take possession of the old shack 
that had sheltered him for years. He cared 
nothing for that. Shortly, he would be 
known as Ichabod Jones, proprietor of a 
fashionabxC tourist hotel. He chuckled, and 
his lips moved into the travesty of a kiss. 

"I'm a-sayin' good-bye to that-thar her- 
mit o' Captain Icky's Island, what lived 
thar fer twenty year. He hain't a-goin' 
to live thar no more." v 

The warrant was speedily signed and duly 
sworn to, after which Van Dusen and Cap- 
tain Jones hurried to board the yacht. The 
two chartered motor boats arrived. Since 
The Hialdo had the legs of the others, it 
took both in tow to bring them to the point 
whereat the search was to start. On reach- 
ing the Island, the red skiflF also was taken 
in tow at Ichabod's suggestion, since its 
draft would permit it to penetrate shallows 
impenetrable to the other craft. 

At a point midway between Harker's 



230 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Island and Smyrna, Unde Ichabod directed 
that one of the chartered boats should be 
sent over and along the shores of the Island, 
then to proceed up the Banks shore, but 
not so far as to prevent the deputy from 
covering the southerly section of Core Sound 
with his field-glasses in order to detect any 
attempt to retrace the route by the Doc- 
tor in the tender. This latmch having been 
dispatched, The Hialdo resumed her course, 
with the other boats still in tow. 

The next objective in the cruise was At- 
lantic — Q. long way up the Sound. Thence, it 
was the intention to send the other char- 
tered boat back along the westerly shore, 
with instructions to go into every iilet and 
cove and bay, no matter how small, pro- 
vided they could navigate it, there to make 
diligent inquiry of every person seen on the 
shores. 

Van Dusen had already prepared reward 
notices, offering five thousand dollars for the 
safe return of Ethel Marion, and one thou- 
sand dollars for the capture of her abductor. 
These posters were given to the deputies 
with instructions that they should be posted 



BOTTLED UP 231 

in every fishing hamlet. It was the belief 
of the detective that the effect of these 
would be to send out a swarm of fishing 
boats to search every nook and cranny of 
the territory. 

Before turning in from the main channel 
to the pier at Atlantic, Van Dusen had the 
second patrol boat turned loose tmder the 
charge of his deputy. He gave instruc- 
tions that four blasts of the yacht's siren 
should be tmderstood as a signal for the 
smaller craft to return to The Hialdo. 

It was learned beyond doubt at Atlantic 
that the Doctor and Ethel had been there. 
There were a score of witnesses to the fact. 
The entire hamlet was loud in its praises of 
this stranger, who, by his skill, had saved 
a life without thought of fee. Captain Icha- 
bod's anxious inquiries elicited the informa- 
tion that there was indeed a Dominick roost» 
aboard the tender, perched on the forward 
deck. One boy, of a fine imaginative mind, 
declared that the bird was tethered by a 
string tied to one of his legs. That false in- 
formation stirred the wrath of Unde Icky, 
so that he was moved to mutter: 



«8ft WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

"Yep, I reckin they're a-savin* *im fer 
broth — consam 'em!" 

At the principal store in the town, soon 
after the arrival of the yacht, there was a 
scene of unusual excitement. Conspicu- 
ously posted was the notice tjnpewritten by 
Van Dusen of the reward for Doctor Garnet's 
capture. But here sentiment was overwhelm- 
ingly strong in the physician's favor. A local 
orator made an impassioned speech to defend 
this wonderful physician, who had shown 
such ability in saving of life without charge. 
He insisted that the townsfolk should throw 
out the "furriners" who desired the arrest 
of such a man. 

Van Dusen was in a desperate hurry, but 
when he sensed the feeling of the crowd, he 
was at pains to tell them, very simply, the 
facts. He declared that, in aU probability, 
the physician who had been guilty of the kid- 
napping was a crazy man. 

After touching at Atlantic, it was decided 
to sail the yacht to the northward, along the 
mainland shore, with the little red slriff still 
in tow. There was more depth of water on 
this side and, in consequence, a larger number 



BOTTLED UP 288 

of inhabited points, from which news might 
be gathered. At the end, there was a light- 
house, where the keeper would have seen every 
boat that passed. 

The yacht stopped at the Squire Goodwin 
landing. There they learned of the recent 
presence of the physician and his patient. 
Thence, they went on to the lighthouse, 
where they were reassured by the keeper^s 
firm assertion that the tender had not passed. 
It seemed to Van Dusen now that the little 
boat must be bottled up, so that its discovery 
and capture could be only a matter of a few 
hours. But there still remained one tract 
to be explored. - 

For the voyaging over these shallows, the 
red skiff was needed. The three men entered 
it, cast off from the yacht, hoisted sail, and 
set forward toward the desolate land of the 
sand dunes, the wild ponies, the goats and 
the beach-combers. . . . And it was Captain 
Ichabod who sat in the stem, handling 
proudly both sheets and tiller. 



CHAPTER XX 
The Truth Unalloyed 

THE lowly home where Ethd had passed 
the previous night was as a palace 
compared with this structtire of beach- 
provided boards and shingles, over the thresh- 
old of which she was ushered, supported on 
the arm of her protector. Doctor Gifford Gar- 
net. As she stepped over the sill, she had a 
sense of apprehension, that ran over her flesh 
like chills. They were the physical expres- 
sion of fright. She was downright afraid of 
this dark, dank, dungeon-like room. Her 
emotion was emphasized by a realization that 
her escort was a mentally tmbalancedi drug- 
mad man. Ethel, realizing something of the 
danger in her environment, had set herself 
to carry a bold demeanor. She would not let 
the man know either her fears or her suspicions. 

334 



THE TRUTH UNALLOYED 235 

She meant to assume toward him an air of 
confidence. 

There was a single window in the room, 
which had a wooden shutter, swimg on leather 
hinges. This was closed, so effectively that 
not a particle of light filtered in from outside. 
It was only by the illtimination through the 
open door that any light entered. Ethel 
hobbled across the room to the window, and 
threw open the shutter. 

The setting sim threw its rays freely into 
the interior of .the shack, as the girl looked 
about her. She saw tiers of bimks on either 
side. In the center of the room were a table 
and some rough chairs. An oil lamp stood 
upon the table. In a comer of the room were 
a cook-stove and the ordinary utensils for 
cooking. A curious conglomeration showed 
on some shelves at one side. In some of the 
bunks, there were blankets. Ethel r^arded 
those blankets with satisfaction. They would 
mean warmth for the night, should she be 
compelled to spend it here. 

The Doctor's nerves did not improve. While 
the girl dropped down to rest on one of the 
uncomfortable chairs, he walked the floor to 



«86 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

and fro in silence. His musdes were twitch- 
ing, and his eyes were wide-lidded, though 
the pupils were only pin-points. 

Ethel watched him closely. Now, when at 
last her suspicions were aroused, she studied 
as if for her own salvation every aspect of 
this man, whom at first she had looked on as 
her savior, but now regarded with a dread 
tmspeakable. 

At last, to relieve the tension of her terror, 
she requested the Doctor to go out to look for 
a sail or any craft that he might hail. He 
went obediently enough. As soon as he had 
left the room, she moved her seat so that she 
could watch him. 

He walked hurriedly to the boat, where, 
using water from the jug, he prepared another 
measure of the drug and shot it into his arm. 
When he had done this, he raised the vial 
that had held the pellet of morphia, and 
stared at its emptiness with affrighted eyes. 
Then, at last, with a cry of utter despair, he 
cast the bit of glass into the sea. The watcher 
tmderstood that he had used the last atom of 
the drug. The knowledge filled her with new 
dismay. She had already learned something 



THE TRUTH UNALLOYED 287 

as to what must be the tortures of the drug- 
addict deprived of his supply. 

After vainly scanning the horizon for a few 
minutes, Garnet returned to the hut, carrying 
the girl's blankets in one hand, the water jug 
in the other. When he had set the jug by 
the stove, he went to the cleaner-looking of 
the bimks, where he deftly arranged the 
blankets for his patient. ^ 

The sight of his preparations brought an 
increase of Ethel's distress at the prospect of a 
night to be passed in the company of the dis- 
traught man there before her. In her misery, 
she murmured passionate prayers for the com- 
ing of her lover to save her from the unknown 
perils of the night. Her situation seemed to 
her desperate beyond endurance. Yet, she 
could not fly from it by reason of her injured 
ankle. She had no recourse but to remain 
inactive, helpless, in an agony of dread. She 
could not take comfort from the thought that 
the man had always treated her with scrup- 
ulous respect. Now, he was no longer sane, 
and his past courtesy could ojffer no promise 
for the future. Had she but known, she 
n[iight have been comforted by the fact that 



2Sa WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

the long-continued secret indulgence in mor- 
phia had killed in him every desire and 
passion save one — a mad craving for the drug 
itself, and for more, and more. 

Ethel urged the Doctor to share with her 
the food provided for them by Mr. Goodwin. 
But he refused, declaring that he was too 
greatly worried over the misf orttme in which 
she was involved. The girl then decided that 
she would not dare to sleep while the crazed 
man was present with her. She determined 
to remain in her seat. She was so worn with 
fatigue that she did not dare lie down on the 
comfortable blanket, where she would be 
unable to resist falling asleep. So she sat 
huddled in a mood of sick misery, while the 
Doctor ceaselessly paced to and fro the length 
of the hut, like a wild beast caged. 

Presently, Garnet halted, and insisted that 
Ethel should lie down in the bunk to rest. 
This she refused to do, and she persisted in her 
refusal when urged a second and a third time. 
But, after her third refusal, Garnet regarded 
her with an expression of utter despair. Then 
he spoke, in a changed voice, shaken with 



;^f •(•initii 



THE TRUTH UNALLOYED 880 

"Miss Marion, I believe that you have be- 
come afraid of me!" 

Having uttered the words, he sank down 
heavily on one of the vacant chairs. His 
breath came hard and fast. He seemed like 
a man about to suffer a stroke of apoplexy. 
Then, suddenly, he burst into tears. 

The man's loud sobbing stirred the girl's 
sympathies. She even felt a little guilty, 
since her conduct had caused this final out- 
burst of wretchedness. She was eager to 
soothe him. Certainly, he could not be dan- 
gerous now. She hobbled across the room 
toward him. 

But the physician ceased his sobs at her 
approach. He sat erect and by a brusque 
gesture checked her advance. He spoke to 
her in a toneless voice. ^ 

"Miss Marion, when first you regained 
consciousness, you asked me to tell the story 
of your kidnapping. Owing partly to your 
condition at that time and partly to a certain 
dread of my own, I only gave you a part of 
the story. I promised to tell the rest later. 
That time has now arrived. I have waited 
for a moment when I should feel that you had 



240 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 



lost confidence in me, for the moment when 
I shotild know that you no longer trusted me. 
I delayed because I hated to confess my 
weakness. I wished to appear before you 
still as a strong man. And let me assure you 
that you are not in any slightest danger from 
me. It is true, I am a nervous wreck. And 
yet, at this moment, my mind is dear. I 
realize that the time has come for me to 
make my confession to you. In the hope 
that it will render your judgment of me less 
harsh, I shall tell you my whole story. It 
begins back in the days when I was taking my 
course in the medical school.*' 

Ethel was amazed over the change that 
had so abruptly taken place in the man. It 
seemed indeed that he had recovered, at least 
in some measure, his accustomed poise. He 
appeared less afflicted with nervousness in 
this new eagerness to talk. She returned 
to her chair and again seated herself. There 
she sat in rapt attention as she listened to the 
weird narrative of a great man's folly and 
degradation. As the tale tmfolded, the girl's 
heart was like a lute swept by chords and dis- 
sonances of emotion. She was thrilled to 



THE TRUTH UNALLOYED 241 

horror, moved to strange sympathy; by turns 
fearful and sjrmpathetic. 

"I believe," the Doctor went on, "that I 
was a more than ordinarily hard-working stu- 
dent. Night after night I burned the mid- 
night oil. I was ambitious to forge ahead. I 
was eager to finish my course and to begin 
the practice of the profession that I so deeply 
loved. I was possessed by a feeling that I 
had been created for this calling. I believed 
that I was destined to obtain eminence in my 
chosen career. 

"Everything went well until I became 
friends with a certain young tutor in the uni- 
versity. He noticed that I was working hard, 
and that sometimes I would begin the day 
tired and depressed, when, naturally, my mind 
would not be as bright as it should be. . . . 
The man was a vampire of viciousness — only 
desirous to corrupt. . . . And I was an easy 
mark! The only excuse I have to offer is 
my age. 

"This man was a drug-fiend. He tised mor- 
phia slyly, knowing full well what the out- 
come must be. It was that hideous knowl- 
edge that made him eager to enchain others, 



842 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

even as he himself was enchained, so that he 
wotild not be alone in the final catastrophe. 

''One day when I was in the dumps, he 
came to me, placed his hand on my shoulder, 
and said: 

" ' Gifford, come with me. I want to make a 
new man out of you.' ... He did! — the kind 
of man you'll know me to be when my story 
is done. 

"I went with him to his room. From a 
small bottle, he handed me a pellet, with in- 
struction to swallow it. I must ask no ques- 
tion — ^merely return to my work, and see if 
it did not ease my labors. I did as directed. 
I fotmd the promised relief — I could do won- 
ders. Very soon, I became the leader of my 
class. There were no questions asked. When- 
ever I felt depressed, I went to the tutor's 
room and he came to my rescue. 

''It was nearly a month before I was cer- 
tain what he was giving me. As you. Miss 
Marion, have trusted me as a friend, so I 
trusted this man. One day I went back to 
this fellow for more 'Brain Food' — as I had 
innocently begun to term it. I had been 



THE TRUTH UNALLOYED 243 

accustomed to entering his room without 
knocking, but on this occasion the door was 
locked. He heard me rattling the knob, and 
called out to know who was there. I shouted 
in answer and said it was Garnet after more 
Brain Food. He then unlatched the door and 
admitted me. His coat was off and one arm 
was bare. Upon a small stand was a hjrpo- 
dermic outfit. I was surprised, for I had 
never seen the fellow take medicine of any 
kind. He laughingly remarked that I was 
just in time — that he was not feeling quite 
himself and so was taking a little Brain Food 
'the other way.' 

"I guessed now that the drug I had been 
taking was indeed morphia. For a moment, 
I was startled and alarmed. But the fright 
was of short duration. I had already devel- 
oped a craving for this thing that so helped 
me on with my work. The tutor bade me 
remove my coat, roll up my shirt-sleeve, and 
allow him to give me a little Brain Food in 
his way. Needless to say, I did as he ordered. 
That was my first 'shot'. . . . Years ago, 
that man killed himself —perhaps in remorse 



244 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

for his crime against me and others corrupted 
by him." 

The Doctor sat silent for a long minute in 
brooding contemplation over this beginning 
of the vice that had mastered him, and now 
threatened at last to destroy him. > 

''It was not long after this," he resumed, 
still with that toneless monotony of voice, 
"that I began my life-work. Sometimes, 
I would go for long periods without resorting 
to the needle. That has helped me in the 
deception of my patients. For long inter- 
vals, I could endure without the drug. Then, 
during periods of great mental strain and 
physical depression from all-night vigils, I 
would invariably fall back upon my old 
Brain Food. Occasionally, such a relapse 
would develop into what might be termed a 
morphia spree. It was at the time of my 
last spree that — ^to my destruction, and your 
discomfiture and suffering — I was called to 
treat you aboard The Isabel^ 

It seemed to Ethel that Doctor Garnet 
wearied of his long discourse. He now arose 
from his chair, and once again he began to 



THE TRUTH UNALLOYED «46 

pace the floor uneasily. It appeared that he 
was debating in his mind whether or not he 
shotild continue his narrative, > 

Ethel, moved to pity by the man's evident 
deep distress, suggested that he should put 
off the further telling tmtil morning when he 
would be rested. She urged him to repose 
in one of the bunks until the morrow, after 
which she would listen to him again. But to 
this he objected, declaring that he had made 
up his mind to tell the whole story. Unless 
she should refuse to listen, he would continue. 
Ethel admitted her willingness to hear the 
remainder of the narrative. 

"I suppose," the Doctor continued, still 
in that dead level of monotonous recitation, 
"at the time that I boarded the yacht that 
you were suffering so greatly from your in- 
jured ankle that you did not detect my deplor- 
able condition. Of course, I should not have 
gone in answer to your call. But I realized 
that you were alone, and I had explicit in- 
structions from your father to care for you. 
So, duty called me. Then, after adnunis- 
tering to you a sedative of extra strength, in 



246 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

the next instant I injected more of the death- 
dealing drug into my own arm. From that 
moment, the Doctor Garnet that you knew 
and trusted became a Mr. Hyde. Gifford 
Garnet did not wish to do you harm " 

''But " 

"But Mr. Hyde became obsessed with an 
insane desire to have you — a yotmg woman 
absolutely pure in heart — to have you enjoy 
with him the wonderful sensations derived 
from the hideous drug to which he was sub- 
ject." 

The revelation, shocking as it was, brought 
a profound relief to the listening girl. The 
confession shone like a stm through the mists 
of fear that had fallen upon her. She lis- 
tened now in a mood, not of fright, but all of 
pity. 

"I told you when you asked me about the 
fate of the kidnappers that the ring leader had 
escaped. That was the truth. He did es- 
cape. But he's here to-night, a prisoner — 
a confessed criminal, in your hands, Miss 
Marion. 

" I drugged the man in charge of the yacht. 



THE TRUTH UNALLOYED 247 

Then I chained him to the engine. When he 
aroused from his stupor, I had ever5rthing 
ready for the yacht's sailing. I forced the 
man to answer the bells as given from the 
bridge, tmder penalty of death. The most of 
the time I kept you tmder the influence of 
my drug. Much of the trip is a blank to me. 
Why we were not swallowed up in the great 
waters of the Atlantic, I cannot understand. 
It must have been. Miss Marion, that God 
stretched out His Arm to save you. ... At 
the time the yacht struck and was destroyed, 
I was a raving maniac. 

" Then, somehow, I once again became sane. 
That was while I watched an old fisherman, 
who rescued you from the pounding seas. 

''At last, I remembered the man chained 
to the engine. It was fear of him that made 
me flee. When the kindly old fisherman went 
in search of a physician for your sake, I was 
wild with the desire of flight. I could see 
always the accusing eyes of that man there in 
the depths of the sea, staring up at me — ^his 
murderer! ... So, I took you and fled with 
you in the tender." 



248 WHEN THE COCK CEOWS 

Ethel lcx)ked at the man, whom she had 
known and trusted as the family physician, 
with widened eyes of horror. This trusted 
friend, by his own avowal, was not only thief 
and kidnapper — ^he was a murderer! 



CHAPTER XXI 
Sealed Orders 

DOCTOR GARNET, seeing the effect 
made upon the girl by the conclusion 
of the story, did not approach her 
or try to relieve her, as had been his wont. 
At the moment he felt himself too low, too 
despicable, to lay his hands on this fair girl, 
even as a physician. Moreover, he knew that 
it would not be long ere she recovered her 
calm. Indeed, only a few minutes elapsed 
before Ethel had passed through the crisis of 
her emotion. Her mind clear again, she 
stared at the man with an unconcealed repug- 
nance, under which he cringed. She thought 
with dismay of the dreadful thing Doctor 
Garnet had done. She even wondered now 
with new distress as to what her friends must 
have thought concerning her secret departure. 
It seemed to her that the truth was too f an- 

249 



250 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

tastic a thing to be credited by the world at 
large. It wotild scoff at this explanation of a 
young girl's sailing for days with a man, prac- 
tically alone, on her own yacht. She shud- 
dered at thought of the slanders sure to be her 
portion. How her father would grieve over 

this disgrace of his daughter! How Roy 

Appalled, she thrust the terrifjdng thought 
from her mind. . . . And there was the mur- 
der of the caretaker! Would the public not 
believe her an accomplice, by consent at 
least, in that forcible holding of him to the 
engine? 

Ethel's thoughts veered to Roy again. 
But, now, there was something of comfort 
in her musing. It occurred to her that he 
at least would believe the truth, though all 
the rest of the world should mock at it as a lie. 
Besides, there was the message she had 
thrown into the sea for him, which she had 
seen picked up by the fisherman. There was 
no doubt in her mind now that Roy had 
received it. There came a little glow of cour- 
age in her heart as she reflected that even at 
this very moment he was searching desper- 
ately for hen . . . Had she been outside the 



SEALED ORDERS 251 

cabin just then, she might have seen the lights 
of The Hialdo, on which her lover was being 
carried to Beaufort, there to receive the 
news of her having left Ichabod's Island 
alive. 

A new courage for herself left her free to 
feel compassion toward the miserable being 
who had done her such grievous wrong. She 
could guess in some measure from the man's 
lined and haggard face and twitching body- 
how great was his suffering and remorse. 
From the fact that he had made such a full 
confession of his guilt, she knew that he 
would make every restitution in his power. 
Sympathy for him, added to sympathy for 
herself, proved too much for her self-restraint. 
Woman-like, she hid her face in her arms 
outstretched on the table, and wept. 

After a little while, the fit of weeping ended. 
The girl brushed away the tears, and again 
sat erect. Then, for a long time, neither she 
nor the man opposite her moved or spoke. 
What, indeed, was there for her to say to him 
who had made her his victim? She had not 
the heart to reproach him. She could find 
no word of comfort. It seemed to her that 



262 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

there could be no assuagement of his misery 
— ^that he were better dead. If he lived, 
he must be a fugitive from justice, or, 
if captured, he must be tried and con- 
demned for murder. Or he might end his 
days in a mad-house. Surely, death were 
preferable. 

But Ethel knew that Doctor Garnet, despite 
her earlier belief, was not mad. Notwith- 
standing the tortures he endured, his narra- 
tive to her had revealed a mind lucid and 
sane. She wondered suddenly if, after all, 
it might be possible somehow to save him from 
the law's penalty? Yet, the damning evi- 
dence of the murdered man in the wreck of 
the yacht could not be concealed. The con- 
sequence of it would be that there could be 
no safety for the guilty one — ^at least on this 
continent. 

That last phrase brought inspiration to the 
girl. There flashed into her mind a thought 
of another continent, where death was riding 
ruthless over coimtless thousands. There, 
under a new identity, this miserable creattire 
might return to his manhood, might once again 
exercise his great skill in behalf of suffering 



SEALED ORDEBS 253 

htmianity, might indeed atone for the past, 
might win a martyr's crown. ... If he could 
but be smuggled out of the country ! 

It was hours past midnight now ; a ghostly 
trace of dawn showed in the eastern sky. 
The physician, it was evident, was fighting 
desperately against the anguish induced by 
his abstinence after over-indulgence in the 
drug. But, presently, he noted through the 
open doorway the lightening of the horizon. 
Once again, now, he spoke to Ethel. 

''Miss Marion, it's near daylight and the 
wind is still holding to the same course it was 
blowing yesterday. I see little chance of 
getting away from this place tmtil there is a 
change. It is, I should judge, about twenty 
miles to Portsmouth. With your permission, 
I shall set out for there at once, in order to 
procure a boat and then return to you. I'm 
sure that I can malce it. I shall be spurred 
on by two of the strongest incentives: one 
is my anxiety in your behalf; the other — ^for 
I shall be frank with you — ^is my anxiety to 
reach a physician. I know that unless I 
can secure relief within a few hours I shall be- 
come insane." 



254 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

He paused for a moment, and then added 
in a voice surcharged with emotion : 

"This has been a terrible night. It was a 
horrible ordeal for me to make my confession 
to you. But now I feel the better for it. I 
have fought my hardest to retain my self- 
control, and I have succeeded thus far. Now, 
if you can only continue to be brave for a few 
hours, I'll have you safely on your way 
home." 

"But do you consider that you are equal 
to the trip. Doctor?" Ethel inquired 
doubtfully. "Twenty miles is a long, long 
distance for one in your state of body and 
mind. Oh, how I wish my ankle was fit, so 
that I could stand the journey! But, of 
course, you most certainly have my per- 
mission. Doctor Garnet. That is, on one 
condition." 

"And what is that condition, Miss 
Marion?" 

" I want you to go under sealed instructions. 
I shall write these out and give them to you, 
but you must not read them until you have 
gone ten miles up the shore. Before you 
answer, let me tell you tl^t in those instnic- 



SEALED ORDERS 255 

tions you will find nothing but what is to 
the best interests of both yourself and me." 

"I owe you every obedience," the Doctor 
declared instantly, though there was a note 
of astonishment in his voice. *'It shall be 
as you wish." 

At her request. Doctor Garnet provided 
Ethel with his fountain-pen and some pages 
torn from his memorandum-book. She wrote 
her instructions hurriedly, folded them and 
gave them to the physician, who bestowed 
them in his coat-pocket. Then, with a short 
word of farewell, he set forth on his journey, 
while the girl, standing in the doorway, looked 
after him with brooding eyes. When he had 
disappeared from view, she seated herself on 
the doorstep and mused for a long time on the 
curious adventures through which she had 
passed, and of which the end was not yet 
come. She felt a great content over being 
thus alone, gladdened by a sheer relief at the 
absence of the Doctor. She no longer felt 
any fear, and presently she limped across 
to the bunk that had been prepared for her, 
where she quickly fell asleep on Ichabod's 
blankets. When at last she awoke, it was 



«66 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

after a sound slumber of some hours, for the 
sun was now high in the heavens. She found 
herself greatly refreshed, and a desire came 
on her for the added refreshment of a pltmge 
into the sea. There was no sign of a human 
being any^rhere within sight, so she tmdressed 
and entered the water. 

When her bath was ended, and she was 
again clothed, Ethel found a stick to serve 
her as a cane, and with its aid made a halting 
ascent of one of the sand dunes. She was 
surprised and pleased at the manifest im- 
provement in her ankle. There remained little 
pain, even when her weight bore upon it in 
walking, and the swelling was greatly reduced, 
so that she was able partly to button her shoe 
over it. From the crest of the sand dune, 
she was able to look out over a wide expanse 
of the waters all round-about. 

To the eastward, she could see for miles 
out over the bosom of the Atlantic. Far away 
in the distance, she saw a large steamer 
headed toward the north. At sight of it, 
she was swept with a sick longing to be on 
board, bound back to home and lover. Scat- 
tered over the surface of the Sound were vis- 



SEALED ORDERS 257 

ible many small sails of the fishing boats, 
darting to and fro, many skirting the shore. 
These were, however, located far away to the 
southwest, miles distant from where she stood. 
It was evident that, for the time being at 
least, there would be no opporttmity to signal 
for help. A sudden realization of hunger 
drove her back to the shack. 

Ethel gathered sticks from the shore for 
the rusty ramshackle stove. She lighted 
them with matches brought from the tender. 
Soon she had water boiling for coffee, and 
presently, with the renmants left from Mrs. 
Goodwin's supply, the girl was able to make a 
meal that seemed wonderfully savory to her 
sharpened appetite. 

As the day lengthened, Ethel's mind busied 
itself with the problem of finding a means to 
signal her presence. There was always the 
possibility of the physician's failure to reach 
his destination. Prudence demanded that she 
herself should make every effort possible for 
relief. From her reading, she remembered 
how shipwrecked castaways in similar plight 
had used a shirt or any white garment as a 
flag of distress. She saw a net-pole lying on 



258 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

the strand, which, she believed, she could 
drag to the top of the sand dune, in spite of 
her ankle's weakness. Her muslin petticoat 
would serve as the banner. The idea no 
sooner presented itself than she proceeded 
to its execution. The moving and the erec- 
tion of the heavy pole taxed her strength to 
the utmost, but it was at last accomplished, 
and its white flag fluttered bravely in the light 
breeze. Ethel looked with pride on her 
achievement, and dared to beKeve that her 
father, could he have seen her now, would 
have praised her cotirage and resotircefulness. 
She felt oddly like a soldier who has scaled 
the wall in the face of the enemy, and planted 
his flag in triumph on the rampart — ^though 
hers was a flag of truce. She surveyed her 
work complacently, though every muscle was 
aching from long-continued digging in the 
shifting sand witii her bare hands and the 
tramping it into firmness about the pole. 

When again she glanced out over the Sotmd, 
Ethel saw off to titie northward a small skiff 
sailing toward her. Even at this distance, 
she was sure that it was approaching her 
refuge. It was evident that her signal had 



r: 



'^. % ' 



•■ y:: "^^ 



.. V 






f * •■ 



■ .\ . * r 



*■ - - • 



...J 




S\ik: si\. i\>i\\u iwl ■aViiti iiJi^tttX-^ . 



SEALED ORDERS je59 

been seen. She sat down, and stared eagerly. 
She felt suddenly faint in the reaction of joy 
over the prospect of rescue. Then, a minute 
later, the castaway was forgotten in the 
woman. She hastily pulled her signal banner 
from the pole, wadded it under her arm, and 
hurried down the dune to the hut. Having 
accomplished its extraordinary purpose so 
valiantly, the white flag should now disap- 
pear to perform its ordinary useful service. 

And as the signal banner came down, there 
sounded a clarion note, as if of victory, from 
the crest of a neighboring sand dune. It was 
the crowing of Shrimp, still bold to challenge 
the world. 

But Ethel gave no heed to the bird that 
had been her companion for a time in mis- 
fortune. It occurred to her that she ought 
not to go away from this place in such fashion 
as to leave Doctor Garnet to worry over her 
fate, should he return and find her gone. She 
decided that she would oflEer her rescuers a 
sufficient payment to wait throughout the 
day for his return, before taking their depar- 
ture. 

Now, the boat was putting in at some little 



«60 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

distance up the shore. But there could be 
no doubt that a landing was intended, for the 
little sail had been lowered, and one of the 
men was sculling toward the beach with an 
oar. 



CHAPTER XXII 
The Parting Crow 

IN this particular case, the cock crowed, 
not thrice, but once. Indeed, the single 
triumphant call was all that was neces- 
sary. It was as if the vainglorious fowl was 
aware that he had been a figure in a tragedy, 
as had been no other of his kind since the tin:ie 
when Saint Peter made craven denial of his 
Master. 

There was no possibility that Captain Icha- 
bod could be deceived as to the identity of 
the creature's voice. As the boat drew in 
toward the shore to investigate the significance 
of the white flag that had fluttered from the 
sand dunes and had then so abruptly van- 
ished, the old fisherman, hearing the cock's 
crow, turned to the detective and Roy Mor- 
ton, and spoke vehemently: 

"Men, did ye hear that? Whar are your 

261 



«62 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

ears? I'll jest be John Browned if that wa'n't 
my ole rooster Shrimp a-crowin' ! Why, men, 
I declare to goodness if it ain't a fact as stire 
as shootin'. I'd know that bird's hide in the 
tan-yard with the feathers off. It's him, men 
— an' if he's thar so is the gal!" 

The all-important feature of the chase 
with Ichabod hitherto had been to find Ethel. 
Not only on his own account, but for the sake 
of Roy, whose deep distress aroused his sym- 
pathies. Now, however, when he heard his 
old feathered friend lift up a lusty voice as 
if in salutation, the fisherman for the time 
being forgot the graver aspect of their quest. 
A new emotion dominated him: He must see 
Shrimp — at once ! Forthwith, then, he dropped 
the sheets, and sculled vigorously toward tiiat 
part of the beach whence had issued the sound 
of the crowing. 

When the boat grounded, Ichabod excit- 
edly hastened forward, climbing the steep 
slope of the nearest dune. Roy and Van 
Dusen followed him, for they believed in the 
accuracy of the old man's observation that 
the girl must in truth be somewhere near his 
pet. 



THE PARTING CROW 268 

As the three reached a cleared space above 
the thick growth of bushes about the base 
and sides of the dune, Uncle Icky, who was 
some distance in advance of the others, 
stopped short. He stood for a few seconds in 
silence, peering intently ahead. Then he cried 
out in a loud voice: 

"Wall, I'll be eternally damned!" He 
pointed a bony forefinger. "Now, what do 
you men think o* that? It's him, all right, 
but, by cracky, the ole devil, as well as my- 
self, has changed consider'ble in his attitude 
toward the other sex, since last we met ! Don't 
ye see, men, he's a-scratchin' an' a-kityka- 
dawin' thar fer three hens!" 

Both the old man's hearers burst out laugh- 
ing over this comparison of the rooster's 
conduct to Ichabod's own, of which they had 
been given a full account during their voyag- 
ing together. 

"Wait a minute, folks," he called out as he 
trotted forward, "till I gits my Shrimp, an' 
then I'll jine ye!" 

Ichabod gave his whistle, so familiar to 
the rooster, as he walked forward. The 
feathered ex-alarm dock, now become a gay 



264 WHEN THE COCK CEOWS 

Lothario, looked up from his, pecking and 
scratching. Then, seeing his old Island com- 
panion approaching, Shrimp hurriedly scur- 
ried oflE into the thick growth of bushes, and 
as he went he issued an authoritative call to 
the hens to follow, to which they rendered 
prompt obedience. Ichabod halted, and 
stared for a moment in dismay. He made no 
attempt to continue the pursuit. He realized 
that the old rooster had had a taste of real 
life, like himself he had come to realize the 
mistake of living alone on an island of sandy 
waste, far from the society of the gentler sex. 
As the old fisherman rettuned to his com- 
panions he spoke gravely: 

"Wall, I don't know as how I can 
blame him. If he's gittin' as much pleasure 
out o' his new life as I aim to git out o* mine, 
I don't believe as how he orter be disturbed. 
He sure was a faithful alarmer, an' I don't 
see any reason why he shouldn't make a 
good husband an' father o' a family." 

The three now descended to the shore line. 
They had made their landing in such haste 
that they had failed to see the little tender 
lying in the cove a short distance below. 



THE PARTING CROW 266 

Then, presently, the eyes of the three fell 
on the shack. Roy halted as abruptly as 
had Ichabod at the sight of Shrimp, though 
with a vastly more poignant emotion — ^for 
in the window he saw the face of the girl he 
loved. As he saw the smile of recognition 
and blissful welcoming, he set out on a nm 
for the cabin. A moment later he disap- 
peared within it. 

Ichabod and the detective discreetly re- 
frained from following Roy at once. They 
gave their attention instead to a sailboat that 
was approaching. They took the newcomer 
— ^for the boat had only a single occupant — 
for a fisherman seeking to win the reward, 
though they could not understand why he 
should be coming from the northward. The 
watchers were still further puzzled when the 
boat, instead of bearing shoreward, abruptly 
shifted its cotirse and swung in a wide circle, 
returning the way it had come. The two 
men then walked to the tender, which, as it 
was now low tide, lay fully exposed on the 
beach. At sight of the shorn propeller, they 
understood the reason of the interrupted voy- 
age. But they could make no guess as to the 



«66 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

whereabouts of Doctor Garnet himself. They 
waited with feverish impatience for the ap- 
pearance of Roy, with such information as 
he should have gathered from Ethel. In the 
meantime, they kept a sharp lookout all 
about, in the hope that the physician, being 
only temporarily absent, might reappear at 
any moment. 

At last, Roy issued from the cabin. He 
carried a chair in his left hand, while his right 
arm supported his betrothed. He placed the 
chair on the shady side of the shack, and ten- 
derly bestowed the girl in it. 

Ichabod and Van Duisen came forward. 
Ethel greeted the detective warmly as an old 
acquaintance, and thanked him gratefully for 
the part he had played in the rescue. But 
she looked with bewilderment on the leathery 
visage of the fisherman. She was sure she 
had seen the face of the old man somewhere 
once before, but she could by no means find a 
precise recollection of time or place. Then 
Roy spoke in introduction of Ichabod to her, 
and explained the mystery. 

''This is Captain Ichabod Jones. To him, 
Ethel, you owe your life. It was he who res- 



THE PARTING CROW 267 

cued you from the wreck of The Isabel^ and 
faced death himself to do it. To him also we 
owe our discovery of you here." 

Ethel bestowed so radiant a smile on the 
old fisherman that he fairly thrilled with 
pleasure. 

"You must tell me the whole story some 
time soon,'* the girl said, after she had uttered 
a few phrases of earnest thanks. 

*'Miss Marion," replied Captain Ichabod, 
"jest the pullin' o' a poor drowned woman 
out o* the water arter the waves has laid her 
right smack at your feet, an* then, a-pumpin* 
a little swallered brine out o* her lungs don't 
call for no fuss Uke what you an' Mr. Morton 
makes over it. lU'd be a mighty-sorry htiman 
what'd a let you lay thar an' die. That's 
the way I feel 'bout it. 'S'fur's findin' o' 
ye here is consamed, that hain't so." 

He pointed at Roy as he continued: 

"Thar's the feller what found ye, an* if 
thar's any other thanks a-comin' they'd orter 
go to an old rooster, what used to live with 
me. Which flighty bird eloped with you an' 
that tallow-faced Doctor. His crowin' did 
the business." 



268 WHEN THE COCK CEOWS 

The Captain chuckled. 

'*An', by cracky, I'm a-thinkin' from what 
we jest see that he's aheady got his reward!" 

Van Dusen, who had been showing signs 
of restlessness, now interrupted. 

"I have a professional reputation at stake," 
he declared, a little grimly. "I quite under- 
stand that you two lovers are perfectly happy 
in being thus reunited again. But there still 
remains a duty to perform. I must catch 
Garnet. Please, Miss Marion, teU me where 
he has gone, what his intentions are." 

"He is off on a mission of mercy," Ethel 
replied. "He has gone to get a boat to 
come back here for me." 

She explained in detail concerning the phy- 
sician's project. 

"I e^cpect him back at any minute," she 
concluded. "If you folks will sit down and 
wait patiently, your quarry will come to you." 
[ Van Dusen asked some fxirther questions, 
which the girl answered frankly, to aU appear- 
ance. The detective was convinced that he 
had, as she suggested, only to remain in wait- 
ing at the shack, to make sure of capttiring 
his man within a few hours. He dismissed his 



THE PARTING CROW 269 

anxiety concerning Garnet, and for the grat- 
ification of his curiosity, begged for a full 
narrative of the events that had happened 
after Ethel regained consciousness. 

The girl did not demur, but told the whole 
story of her dreadful experiences. The three 
men sat spellbound as they listened to her 
dramatic recital. They were thrilled by that 
climax when in the desolate hut the physician 
at last made his ftill confession to the girl. 

As Ethel came to the end of her account, 
Van Dusen addressed Roy with a note of self- 
gratulation in his voice. 

"Now, what do you think, Roy Morton? 
You remember that night on The Hialdo 
when I gave you my opinion of this affair? 
You remember, I said that such cases are 
rare, but that in the end we should find this 
whole affair to be the work of a drug-crazed 
man, dominated by a fixed idea — ^that he 
must steal this yoimg lady away, and, by 
force if necessary, make her a sharer with him 
in a drug orgy. I told you, too, that I did not 
believe her life or person in any danger what- 
ever, tmless through accident. And there's 
another point: This Doctor Garnet should go 



270 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

to a mad-house, rather than to prison and the 
electric chair." 

The day was drawing to a close now, with 
the snn hardly an hotir high above the trees 
that lined the western horizon. Uncle Icha- 
bod declared that Garnet should have sent 
help long before, if he had safely reached 
Portsmouth. The fisherman gave it as his 
opinion that the physician must have met 
with serious trouble on the way, or that he 
must have deliberately deserted Miss Marion. 
He further suggested that he and the detective 
should leave Roy and Ethel for an hour or 
two, in order to search along the shore for a 
possible trace of the missing man. But he 
amended this plan a moment later by advis- 
ing that Roy should take the girl in the sldflE 
and make sail for the yacht, which was 
vaguely visible at anchor some miles away. 
Afterward, a seaman could bring the glHff 
back for himself and Van Dusen. 

This proposal met with ready acceptance 
by all concerned. The lovers embarked and 
sailed away while the fisherman and the de- 
tectives set forth on their scouting expedition 
along the shore. But before starting, Ichabod 



THE PARTING CROW 271 

pvdled oflF his shoes and stockings and rolled 
up his trousers. It was his custom to go bare- 
footed, and he had no mind now to be handi- 
capped in the long tramp by the foolishness 
of footgear — suited only to town and the pres- 
ence of Sarah Porter. 

As he passed among the dunes, Captain 
Jones heard once again Shrimp's lusty crowing. 
He whistled, but the bird remained invisible, 
only crowed again, with a note that sounded 
almost derisive in the ears of his old master. 

Ichabod grieved a little over the defection 
of his old friend. Then, quickly, his mood 
lightened. He would have through the years 
to come a companion infinitely more desirable. 



CHAPTER XXIII 
Tbb Search up the Shore 

IT was fairly good walking up the shore, 
so that the two searchers were able to 
make excellent progress here. Much of 
the way the waves had pounded the beach 
until it was hard and level as a floor. But 
in places the sand was strewn with quanti- 
ties of sea shells, many of them broken. These 
troubled Van Dusen a little, even though he 
wore heavy-soled shoes. He wondered that 
the barefooted Ichabod experienced no dis- 
comfort to all appearance. As a matter of 
fact, the old fidierman's soles were homy, 
tough as any leather. 

As the two journeyed on, the detective grati- 
fied his natural curiosity concerning things 
round-about by questioning his companion. 
He was especially interested in the small 

bands of wild ponies that appeared from time 

272 , 



THE SEARCH UP THE SHORE 273 

to time. These, like himself, were inquisitive, 
and often would stand gazing with ctuious 
eyes, until the men were within a hundred 
yards of them, before they would show their 
heels and go cantering off through the deep 
sand. 

Ichabod, though he answered at length all 
the questions put to him by the detective, 
kept up a train of thinking apart. He 
showed the results of it presently when he 
spoke. 

"Do ye know, Mr. Detective," he began, 
"I've been a-thinkin' a whole week 'bout that 
poor cuss what me an' you are a-tryin' to 
run down? Do ye know, from what that 
pretty gal says, I don't say as how that feller 
orter go to a jail house? Thar's a heap o* 
good left in that man j^t. Jest think what 
he done out thar in the Sotmd a-savin' o* 
the kid! That wa'n't the act o' no beast — 
not by a damned sight ! " 

*' Yes, Captain," Van Dusen answered, "I'll 
admit that was not the act of a beast. But 
don't you think that a man becomes worse 
than a beast when he allows the craving for 
drugs to destroy mind and body and to prompt 



274 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

him to acts such as those of which this de- 
generate has been gtiilty?" 

''But, Mr. Detective/' the fisherman ar- 
gued, "that man was led astray. Seems as 
if, 'cordin' to my way o' thinkin', this case 
is a heap like that o' a poor gal what's led 
off when she's yotmg. It don't make no dif- 
ference what happens arterward. The folks, 
women 'specially, won't give her no credit, no 
matter how hard she tries to go right. They 
jest naturally kain't see no good in her. Ye 
see, I used to know a gal like that. But she 
was smart. She up an' moved clear out o' 
the cotmtry, an' started life all over ag'in. 
It's right-smart hard to believe, but, sir, 
that gal married a preacher, an' worked a dum 
sight harder fer God than a heap o' the ones 
that she up and left behind did! Them poor 
fools are still a-talkin' 'bout her. Now, Mr. 
Van Dusen, do ye exactly have to arrest Gar- 
net if we find him?" 

"Well," the detective answered, "since he's 
a murderer any one has the right to arrest 
him. For my part, I have no right to take 
him in charge for the other things he's done. 
I have no warrant, an' I'm not a state oflficer." 



THE SEARCH UP THE SHORE 275 

"What I'm afeard of/' Ichabod went on, 
"is that while he's a-sufferin' so, an' so full o' 
remorse, he'll do away with himself. If he 
don't do that now, I 'low as how he's a cured 
man. It's my opinion that feller will never 
hit the dope ag'in. An' if he don't, he's too 
valuable a man to lose. If we come up with 
him, let's me an' you see if we can't git him 
to do what that kind-hearted little girl wanted 
him to — go off somewhars under another name 
an' work fer his feller human bein's, an' fer 
God. A man, when he does it right, is 
a-workin' fer Him when he practices 
medicine!" 

Unaccustomed emotion vibrated in Van 
Dusen's voice as he replied: 

"Captain, you yourself would make a good 
one to work for the Master. You have a 
heart! And, in my profession, I find many, 
both men and women, who are heartless. I 
would not willingly put a straw in the way of 
Garnet. But, just the same, for the love of 
God and man, think what his guilt is." 

The old fisherman wagged his head in 
assent. 

"Yes, I admit he has done a heap o' evil. 



276 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

But, Mr. Detective, the dosin' words that 
man said to Ethel Marion are still a-ringin* in 
my ears. I hain't got much edicatin, but 
I can repeat 'em jest like she said the Doctor 
said 'em. Here they be : * My only hope now 
is to return you safe to your friends an' to 
do my utmost to explain these most unbeliev- 
able circumstances. I care nothing fer my 
own future. It is ruined, an', like a good 
patient, I am ready to take my medicine.' " 

As the old man ended his quotation &om 
the Doctor's farewell to Ethel, Van Dusen 
suddenly pointed a little way ahead. 

"Unless I'm greatly mistaken," he ex- 
claimed, "he has already taken — or. been 
given — ^his medicine. That looks to me 
like a yachtsman's cap down there on the 
beach. You said he was dressed in yachting 
costume." 

The two men hurried forward. When they 
reached the cap, which was weighted down 
with a shell, the detective picked it up and 
fotmd a note pinned to the top of it. Cap- 
tain Ichabod glanced about him with appre- 
hension at thought of the tragedy that might 
have occurred here. 




Van Dusen unpinned the note, opened it and read aloud. 



I 



^".Y 










if% 



THE SEARCH UP THE SHORE 277 

Just beyond where they were standing 
there was a sort of false inlet. It does not 
show as an inlet upon the map. Neverthe- 
less, at times it allows the water to cut clear 
across the Core Banks. Except at high tide, 
it is shallow. But it is not safe for fording 
by those who do not know the way, for the 
bed of it abounds in treacherous quicksands. 
It was indeed at this point that Captain Jones 
had feared lest Garnet, a stranger, might meet 
with disaster. Now, it seemed likely that 
he had. 

Van Dusen unpinned the note, opened it, 
and read aloud: 

"To the World: 

"I hope to cross this unknown channel in safety, 
for the sake of the young woman, Ethel Marion, who 
is pure and innocent. I have spent my energies in 
order that the world might be benefited. But in zeal 
to win the fame for myself while helping others, I re- 
sorted to drugs to give me a capacity for strength be- 
yond that apportioned to me by my Creator. Let 
my guilt serve as a warning to every professional man 
who desires to be of service to his fellows. There can 
be no gain to htmianity from a folly that must cost him 
his own soul. 

"GiPFORD Garnet." 



278 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

Ichabod burst forth excitedly as the read- 
ing ended. 

"Thar, now, didn't I tell ye that feller was 
no beast? The poor man! I wonder if he 
did get over all right. Maybe he has jest 
really destroyed himself, an' meant to, but 
didn't want folks to think he was that kind o' 
a coward." 

Van Dusen shook his head. 

"No, I don't believe he meant to kill him- 
self. I believe he meant to try his best to 
cross, but feared he might be swept away and 
drowned." 

Ichabod bade the detective wait while he 
himself should ford the inlet in order to look 
for tracks in the sand on the fxirther side. He 
reached the opposite shore safely, and there 
moved to and fro along the water's edge for a 
time, apparently making a dose search. Van 
Dusen awaited a signal, but there was none. 
At last, Ichabod reentered the water and 
crossed to where the detective awaited him. 
In answer to the mute inquiry of his com- 
panion's gaze. Captain Jones shook his head 
sadly as he spoke. 

"Mr. Van Dusen, thar hain't a doubt in 



THE SEARCH UP THE SHORE 279 

my mind but that God A'mighty will be 
mighty easy with that feller at the judgment 
seat." 

The two slowly retraced their steps toward 
the cabin. The detective purposely lagged a 
little. He wished to save his companion 
from over-exertion. He had never hitherto 
seen a man of such advanced age endure so 
much strenuous physical activity, and he 
feared that it might bring ill consequences. 
As a matter of fact, of the two, Ichabod prob- 
ably felt less fatigued. 

It was dark by the time they reached the 
landing. A sailor from the yacht was in 
waiting for them with a motor-equipped 
tender, similar to that of The Isabel. The 
n^n had already made his painter fast to the 
disabled boat, ready for towing it back to the 
yacht. Very quickly, the detective and fish- 
erman were aboard, and the Httle boat was 
chugging sturdily toward The Hialdo. Van 
Dusen reflected, almost with a sigh of regret, 
that his work was practically at an end. 
There remained only to make a report to the 
Collector of the Port and the Justice of the 
Peace at Beaufort. He would exhibit to them 



280 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

the cap and the accompanying note, and thus 
the case would be done with. The evidence 
would eliminate Doctor Gamet from ftirther 
consideration. 

Ichabod regarded the detective as a man of 
extraordinary experience and ability. He pro- 
posed to avail himself of the wisdom here 
ready to his need. 

'*Mr. Van Dusen/' he demanded suddenly, 
"air ye a fambly man?" 

"I suppose," was the answer, given with a 
smile, ''you mean by that, am I so lucky as 
to have a wife and children." 

"That's it!" Ichabod agreed. 

"No, my friend, I am sorry to say that I 
am not. I suspect I'm one of those fellows 
that will keep putting it off until it's too late. 
But, why do you ask? " 

"I reckon the reason is," the old man said 
very solemnly, "cause I'm goin' to be, my- 
self, an' that right soon. An' I thought if 
ye was, ye might be able to give me a little 
advice 'bout the pre-nuptals, as Sarey calls 
'em. She mentioned it, an', to tell ye the 
truth, I didn't know the meanin' o' the re- 
mark. Is it something pertainin' to weddin* 



THE SEARCH UP THE SHORE 281 

frocks an' things, or air ye like me, igomant? 
She said, jest before I left, that it'd take a 
little time for the pre-nuptals, an* since I 
ag'in realized how unsartin life is, I sorter 
thought I'd like to have it over with to- 
morrer/' 

Van Dusen smiled. 

"I don't think you need to worry, Captain 
Ichabod," he declared soothingly. "I think 
the pre-nuptials will be satisfactorily adjtisted 
by you without any trouble. All you need 
to do is to walk up to your girl to-morrow, 
and wave before her the five-thousand-dollar 
check Roy Morton's going to give you as your 
reward. So long as you have the wherewithal 
for the post-nuptials you don't need to worry 
about the pre-. Then you might tell her 
that there's a fine yacht all ready to take the 
two of you north for a honeymoon trip." 

Van Dusen dropped his bantering tone and 
spoke with great cordiality. 

"Leaving all joking aside. Captain, here is 
a splendid chance for you. I'll take you and 
your bride all the way to New York, or I'll 
drop you at any port you like between. I 
know that Roy and Miss Marion will be de- 



282 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

lighted by this chance to get better acquainted 
with the man who made their reunion pos- 
sible- They owe everything to you." 

"Yes/' Ichabod retorted; "an' I owe them 
a heap, too. It's that girl that started the 
whole change in my way o' thinkin'. She 
caused me to decide to take on a fambly an' 
happiness. I don't much like what ye says 
'bout that-thar five thousand, though. Ye 
see, we folks down this way don't go round 
savin' lives fer pay — ^that is 'ceptin' the coast- 
guard boys. What we does is fer the feelin's 
that possess us. Why, do ye know, if thar's 
airy man in Cartaret that I didn't think'd 
do what I did, an' more, in this scrape, I'd 
head a passel o' men to run him dean into 
the swamps fer keeps!" 

"It's a legally posted reward offered for 
the discovery of Ethel Marion," Van Dusen 
explained, "and there is no question as to its 
being rightfully yours. You need have no 
scruple about taking it. But Roy and his 
sweetheart will convince you as to that, even 
if I can't." 

Ichabod appeared dubiotis for the moment. 
Then his face wrinkled in a grin, for he had 




THE SEARCH UP THE SHORE 283 

found a method whereby to satisfy his con- 
science in the matter. 

"Wall," he declared judicially, "I has lost 
consider'ble time from my fishin'." Then 
his enthusiasm overcame his air of reticence. 
"Whoopee! Five-thousand dollars! I cal'- 
late that sure will cut out them pre-nuptals — 
whatever they be." 



CHAPTER XXIV 
A Gentlehan's Promisb 

ROY and Ethd stood by the rail on the 
yacht's deck as the tender drew along- 
side. They were filled with anxiety 
over the results of the search upon the shore. 
Dismay touched them when they saw the 
cap that Van Dusen carried in his hand as 
they stepped forward. Ethel's cheek blanched, 
but she asked no question; only stood waiting 
while the detective stepped aside with Roy 
and gave him Garnet's note. The young man 
hastily read the message. For a moment, he 
mused as if in doubt concerning its signifi- 
cance; then he asked: 

" Do you think that he made the crossing in 
safety?" 

"I think not," was the reply. "Captain 

Ichabod went through the channel to the 

other side. He looked everywhere for signs 

of Garnet's having continued on up the beach, 

284 



A GENTLEMAN'S PROMISE 286 

but the search was fruitless. I have an idea 
that the Doctor, in his weakened condition, 
was unable to breast the tide, and so was car- 
ried out to sea. To my mind, it seems, per- 
haps, the best ending for that drug-crazed 
man. At the same time, I confess I'm heart- 
ily sorry for the fellow. Had there been any 
way to get him clear of the charges it would 
have been necessary for him to face, I for one 
would have been willing to go to any length 
to save him, to get him away to some place 
where he was not known and could begin life 
anew." 

Roy showed the note to Ethel, and ex- 
plained how the evidence seemed to indicate 
that the physician was dead. The girl lis- 
tened quietly, but when her lover had made 
an end, she turned quickly and went away to 
her stateroom, to be alone with her grief. 

During Ethel's absence the yacht was got 
under way for Beaufort. Van Dusen and Ich- 
abod restored their energies by a hearty meal. 
By the time the moon had risen, the party of 
four were gathered aft, talking together 
quietly, and enjojdng the beauties in the 
panorama of sea and shore and sky imf olded 



286 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

by the yacht's progress. There was rapture 
in the hearts of both lovers in this reunion 
after so great trials. Each of them had 
sailed over these waters in an agony of grief 
and fear while they were separated from each 
other. Now, they were once again together. 
The fear and the peril were things of the past. 
For the present, there was only joy, a joy 
that would endxu^ for the days to come. 

Van Dusen explained to the others how he 
had extended an invitation to Ichabod to 
make use of the yacht for his honejmioon- 
trip. Ethel was astonished and delighted to 
learn of the old fisherman's romance and his 
intended bridal on the morrow. 

*'But, do you know," she exclaimed with a 
smile, to Captain Jones, *' I supposed, of course, 
you were married, and had grandchildren? " 

"Not me!" the old man answered, un- 
abashed. "But I do aim to!" 

Van Dusen f tirther explained that the only 
thing now wanting was the consent of the 
bride herself to the plans. He then spoke 
again of the reward to be paid to Ichabod. 
Roy declared that this should be made out 
immediately. Once again, Captain Icky pro- 



A GENTLEMAN'S PROMISE 287 

tested against the pa3nnent, but without much 
heart in his objections, and finally, after 
mumbling something as to the time lost from 
his fishing, he consented to receive the amount. 
But on a condition. He stipulated that the 
check should be made out to Sarah Porter, and 
that in the left-hand comer there should be 
written the words : 

" In lieu of all other pre-nuptals," 

The fisherman gave it as his positive opin- 
ion that this would clinch the matter for the 
following day, 

'* Anyhow," he added grimly, ''if it don't, 
I'll be dogged if she gits it ! " 

When the yacht reached Beaufort, the party 
went ashore, for it had been decided that 
Ethel should be cared for at the Inlet Hotel, 
where, if need be, she might prove of service 
in persuading Sarah into meeting the ardent 
Ichabod's wishes. 

The hostess greeted the girl warmly, and 
fussed over her with a maternal solicitude 
that promised well for the fisherman's hopes 
in the matter of grandchildren. Then, when 
she had seen her guest comfortably installed, 
Sarah returned to the porch, where Ichabod, 



288 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

armed with the check, was anxiously awaiting 
her. 

"Oh," she exclaimed tenderly, "I'm so 
glad you have returned safely! I've really 
worried about you, I was afraid that dread- 
ful man might do something terrible if you 
came upon him unexpectedly." 

"No, sir," was the spirited retort; "there 
ain't nothin' kin git me now but you!" 

The gallant remark so pleased the spinster 
that she patted his hand affectionately, as 
they sat down side by side on a porch 
sexxee* 

Ichabod braced himself for the encounter. 
He felt that there was to be no shilly-shally 
now. Moreover, his backbone was amazingly 
stiffened by the five-thousand-dollar check. 
He meant business! Besides, it wotild never 
do to disappoint his new friends. He was 
going to make that hone3nnoon-trip, or 
"bust!" 

"Sarah," he began, "do ye remember as 
how in the old days I was always said to be a 
man o' very few words?" 

"Why, yes, Ichabod," Sarah agreed — ^per- 
haps a little doubtful, "come to think about 



A GENTLEMAN'S PROMISE 289 

it I believe you were. But what's agitating of 
you to-night? There seems to be something 
heavy-like on yotir mind." 

"Thar is, Sary — somethin' mighty big an' 
I reckin as how you'll think it sudden. But 
that's the only way to do — ^jest speak right 
pltmib out an' have it over," 

His hearer paled slightly. She had a horrid 
suspicion that her lover had backslidden, that 
he meant to return to his hermit life on the 
Island, and was here now to jilt her, 

"Of course, ye understand that me an' you 
are promised to wed?" Ichabod went on. 

"Yes," came the faltered response. 

"Wall, thar ain't but one thing now as I 
see it that is a-standin' in the way, an' that 
is them-thar pre-nuptals you mentioned when 
I wanted to htirry things a leetle. Now, 
what I'm a-comin' to is this: I'm mighty well 
aware that them things takes time an' costs 
money. In lieu o* them as the lawyers say 
I'm servin' ye with this" — ^he extended the 
check — "an' we'll fix the hull thing up in the 
momin', an' sail no'th in the evenin' on my 
New York friend's yacht, for our after-nuptals. 
But, consam ye! thar's jest one other con- 



290 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

dition: Sure as shootin*, ye*ll have to pay our 
way back!" 

Sarah took the check to the light. She 
gasped as she read the four figures. There 
was awe in her voice as she pronounced the 
words aloud: 

"Five-thousand dollars!" 

Then, after a moment, she questioned seri- 
ously: 

" Ichabod, are ye goin' to build the addition 
on the hotel besides?" 

The old fisherman nodded emphatically. 

"That," he stoutly declared, "was a gen- 
tleman's promise ! " 

Sarah capitulated. 

"Ichabod Jones, I ought to call you a 
triflin' rascal for starting in to scare me like 
youVe done. Anyhow, I jest can't make it 
earlier than eleven-thirty. Will that do?" 

The fisherman's reply was to take Sarah 
in his arms. Roy and Van Dusen in the 
hotel lobby hailed the smack that followed 
as a signal of the wooer's success. 



CHAPTER XXV 
Doing His Bit 

ICHABOD saw Ethel come out on the 
porch and take a seat at the far end. 
He somewhat hastily released Sarah 
from his arms, with the explanation that he 
ought to leave her free to make her prepara- 
tions for the wedding. The spinster, blush- 
ing with happiness and excitement, hurried 
to busy herself with making ready for her 
new state of full womanhood. Just as Roy 
reached Ethel's side, Ichabod joined the two 
with the glad tidings of his sweetheart's ac- 
ceptance of the '*pre-nuptals," The fisher- 
man's apprehensions concerning too much 
publicity for the wedding ceremony led him 
rather shyly to suggest that it should take 
place on board The Hialdo^ away from the 
prjdng eyes of the townsfolk. He explained 

that he didn't know which would be worse — 

39X 



2M WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

the small boys, or the older devilSi or the 
cacklin* hens. 

Immediately after the bank opened next 
morning, the cashier readjusted his enormous 
bone-rimmed spectacles in order to study a 
check presented for deposit by Miss Sarah 
Porter, Then he espied the phrase concern- 
ing " pre-nuptals " in the upper left-hand 
comer, and that was sufficient, for he was a . 
man of shrewdness. He passed the news I 
along to every person that appeared before 
his wicket. In less than half an hotir, the 
whole town was agog over the astounding 
intelligence that the old maid, Sarah Porter, 
was engaged to be married. There remained 
the mystery as to the identity of the bride- 
groom. But this was speedily cleared up by 
the genial Doctor Hudson, who made no 
scruples of advertising his old friend's happi- 
ness. The result was that by the time set 
for the ceremony, the whole town was out, 
waiting in eager anticipation. It was indeed 
a season of great excitement. Here was an 
opportunity to celebrate an event that was 
at once amazing, romantic and historic 
Captain Ichabod had been known by them 



DOING HIS BIT 298 

for twenty years as an inveterate woman* 
hater. During that same score of years, as 
her friends could testify, Sarah Porter had 
refused no less than seven excellent offers of 
marriage. Now, these two were to marry. 
The citizens, with one accord, marveled and 
rejoiced- 

Yet, no one criticized the match. The 
two were tmiversally liked and respected. 
While the townsfolk wondered and smiled 
they did not jeer. But they were resolved 
to make a demonstration of their apprecia- 
tion. They meant to give the wedded pair 
a "send off" to be remembered. 

Sarah, assisted by three of her closest 
friends, passed the whole night in making 
ready for the momentous occasion. By nine 
o'clock in the morning, her trunk was safely 
aboard the yacht. Immediately after her 
return from the bank. Captain Jones escorted 
her aboard The Hioldo — ^before the towns- 
people had any suspicion of what was going 
on. They were quickly followed by Doctor 
Hudson and the clergyman. Van Dusen 
bustled in after them, having finished the 
paying off of the chartered boats. 



2M WHEN THE COCK CHOWS 

The ceremony was duly performed. A 
woman's dream of years at last became 
reality- 
Van Dusen suggested that the newly wedded 
pair should go ashore to receive the congrat- 
ulations of the crowd that now thronged the 
water front. But Ichabod, having in mind 
pestif erotis small boys, steadfastly refused any 
such exhibition of himself and his bride. His 
opinion of them wotild have been confirmed 
could he have overheard their questioning of 
Doctor Hudson, which was: Had he exam- 
ined their teeth to see how old they were? 

Nevertheless, the townsfolk, though they 
got no sight of the principals in the affair, 
cheered with a lusty good-will. And, too, 
they dragged a cannon down to the shore, 
where the gtmner fired a salute of twenty-one 
thtmderous explosions. The Collector of the 
Port, who alone knew that this was an honor 
reserved for the President of the United States, 
inquired curiously why this exact number was 
chosen. The gunner replied seriously that it 
represented the bride's age. 

At Uncle Icky's request, the yacht sailed 
first for the coast-guard station. Here, he 



DOING fflS BIT 295 

had no hesitation in proclaiming his new state 
and in receiving the congratulations of his 
friends — ^for there were no small boys to 
trouble. He explained the whereabouts of 
Shrimp and the hens, with a request that 
they should be rescued from the barren stretch 
of sand. The coast-guard men promised 
that the little flock should receive a home at 
the station itself. Thus, the old fisherman's 
last concern with the old life was happily 
ended. In a moment apart, he made a final 
entry in the diary. 

''Through with Shrimp and the shack, by 
heck! My weddin'-day! Hooray!" 

It was owing to a request by Ethel to Van 
Dusen that the yacht's course was to Ports- 
mouth that night. Early next morning, be- 
fore the others were stirring. Captain Ichabod 
rowed Ethel in a small boat from The Hialdo's 
anchorage to the town. They were absent 
for a fuU three hours. On her return, Ethel 
spoke with enthusiasm of the town's quaint 
charm, but she gave no details of her visit 
there, not even to Roy. The old fisherman 
said nothing at all of the trip, not even to 
Sarah Jones. 



«96 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

The wedded pair, though ttrged to prolong 
their stay on the yacht, insisted on leaving 
when The Hialdo reached Norfolk, They 
took with them a promise from their new 
friends to come south again in order to attend 

the opening of the new Inlet Hotel, 

• ••••• 

Colonel Marion was appointed to head a 
mission to France for study on the war- 
methods there. On his return to New York 
from Texas, he urged Ethel's immediate mar- 
riage, before his sailing. Naturally, there was 
no objection on the part of the lovers, and the 
father was able to depart tranquil in the 
asstirance that his daughter would be safe 
in her husband's care. 

One morning a few months later, as Roy 
and Ethel sat at breakfast, the servant brought 
him a letter with a Paris postmark, which was 
addressed in the familiar hand of Colonel 
Marion. Somewhat surprised that the letter 
should be to him rather than to Ethel, Roy 
opened it and read: 

"Dear Roy: 

"Just a few lines to give you the surprise of your life. 
I have found that our old friend, Doctor Garnet, was 



DOING fflS BIT «97 

not lost in the quicksands, as you supposed. On the 
contrary, he is here in France, doing noble, wonderful 
work in the branch of his profession that he always 
loved — surgery. I understand that he has been dec- 
orated several times. And also, strange to say, he is 
going under his own name. I am sending this news 
to you instead of to Ethel direct, because I feared the 
effect of a sudden shock on her. You can break the 
information to her gently. 
"With love to the dear girl, 

"Your father, 

"Stephen Mauon." 

Roy had little alarm lest his wife should 
suffer any ill effect from what she would re- 
gard as the best of news, 

"My dear," he asked at once, "would you 
be greatly surprised to get authentic informa- 
tion that Gifford Garnet is alive and doing 
wonders in his profession of surgery? Would 
you believe it, if I should tell you that he has 
been several times decorated for his services 
on the battle front in France?" 

To his astonishment, Ethel showed no ex- 
traordinary excitement, though her face grew 
radiant. 

"No, Roy," she replied, "I should not be 
surprised, but I should be very glad!" 



298 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

*' Your answer sounds strange to me," Roy 
declared, with a puzzled glance across the 
table. "Anyhow, you are calm enough so 
that I don't need to hesitate in telling you 
that your father's letter to me actually con- 
tains this astonishing news." 

''Thank God, Roy!" Ethel said reverently. 
" The madman has become sane again. Thank 
God, he did obey my sealed orders." 

Roy stared at his wife in open bewilder- 
ment. 

"What on earth do you mean, Ethel?" he 
demanded. "Have you been keeping some- 
thing from me?" 

"Yes, my dear husband, I've been guilty of 
just that thing. I've just been waiting and 
praying for the hour when I could come to 
you and give you the very information that 
father has been able to send you. I'll tell you 
the whole story. But, first, I must exact a 
promise. For Ichabod's sake, as well as my 
own, you must not breathe a word of the 
truth to Arthur Van Dusen." 

Still mightily wondering as to the meaning 
of all this mysterjr^ and eager for its solution, 
Roy readily gave the required promise that 



DOING fflS BIT 299 

he would keep Ethel's secret. Thereupon she 
told him the story. 

''The night Arthtir and poor old Ichabod 
returned to us aboard The Hialdo with the 
Doctor's cap and note, I believed as firmly 
as you did that the unfortunate ma!n had been 
swallowed up in the qtiicksands, or swept 
away to death by the tide. At the time when 
he left me alone in the shack in order to go 
for help, I would not let him go until he had 
agreed to carry with him sealed orders tmder 
which he shotild act. I wrote these and gave 
them to him, and he promised to follow my 
instructions. They were for his future guid- 
ance. I believed that, if he followed them, 
he would not only escape punishment, but 
reform so as to be of service once more to the 
world. Nattirally, when help did not arrive 
from Portsmouth, I concluded that his strength 
had not been sufficient for the task, that he 
had perished. So, I was not surprised by the 
news brought to the yacht by the men who 
had been searching for him. 

"That morning when I visited Portsmouth, 
Roy dear, I had two objects in view. One was 
to verify the fact that Doctor Garnet had not 



SOO WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

reached the town. The other was to visit 
the yoting physician whom I knew to be lo- 
cated there, in order to arrange with him to 
care for the aflflicted man in case he should 
arrive later on. As I was about to leave the 
yacht, early in the morning, Captain Icha- 
bod appeared." 

' Ethel's gravity vanished for a moment. 
Her Itistrotis eyes narrowed and twinkled. 
She smiled until the dimples in her cheeks 
were shadows against the rose. 

*'I suppose he stole away from the fond 
Sarah while she was asleep. He never could 
have managed it had she been awake." She 
became serious again, and Roy, whose mouth 
had widened in an appreciative grin, again 
listened with sober attention. 

*' Captain Ichabod had a confession to make 
to me. That confession was vastly more of a 
surprise to me, as you will soon understand, 
than this news in father's letter. The old fel- 
low first swore me to secrecy. Then he out and 
told me, not without a certain exultation at his 
shrewdness, that he had put one over on the 
greatest detective in America, Arthtir Van. 
Duisen. He explained that when he and 



DOING HIS BIT 801 

Arthur reached the false inlet where they 
found the cap and note, he believed that Doc- 
tor Garnet had crossed in safety, for the chan- 
nel was by no means so dangerous as he rep- 
resented to the detective. As a matter of 
fact, he hoped and expected to find the Doc- 
tor's tracks on the other side, and he did so 
alhough he concealed the knowledge of their 
existence from Van Dusen. Ichabod went 
on to tell me that he was moved to sympathy 
in Doctor Garnet's behalf, that he believed 
the man would reform, would be of use to the 
world, that he was worth saving from the law's 
punishment for offenses inspired by a drug- 
maddened brain. He insisted that he told 
no lie to Arthtir — only allowed the world's 
greatest detective to draw a few wrong con- 
clusions from his vague remarks and the 
melancholy expression on his face when he 
returned after crossing the inlet to look for 
tracks. 

"Right then and there, that old fisherman 
and I formed a partnership. We decided 
that we would locate otir man, save him 
from capture, and have him restored to the 
normal. This would be comparatively easy 



S02 WHEN THE COCK CROWS 

since the authorities believed him to be dead. 
We wotild demand in return that he should 
go to France, there to serve those sufferers on 
the battlefield who might have need (rf him. 

" Ichabod preferred to remain behind, when 
I went to the physician's house. There I 
found that Doctor Garnet had in fact been 
received by the young doctor, who had taken 
him in and cared for him — ^proud indeed to 
do so, since he knew his patient's reputation 
and held him in veneration for his skill. The 
yotmger doctor readily entered into a con- 
spiracy with me when he had heard my 
story. I had an interview with Doctor Gar- 
net. He accepted my proposition fully. He 
was glad of a chance to expiate his follies. He 
swore to me that never again would he take a 
grain of the drug. At his request, I brought 
Ichabod to his bedside, and he thanked the 
old man warmly for all that he had done both 
for himself and for me, his victim. I offered 
him funds for the trip abroad, but he told 
me that he was well supplied with money. 
He told me also that he had come in a small 
sail-boat to carry me away from the shack, 
but had seen on approaching that his services 



DOING HIS BIT 303 

were no longer needed, so had retiimed whence 
he came. . . . From that day until now, I 
have had no word of the man. Yet, I felt 
that he had kept his promise." 

"And he did— nobly!" Roy said. There 
was a new admiration in the glance with 
which he regarded his wife, who had accom- 
plished this miracle of regeneration. 

Ethel met that glance, and smiled respon- 
sively. 

Once again she dimpled, as she spoke half- 
seriously, half -playfully. 

"Roy, dear, aren't you just a bit proud of 
your wife and Uncle Ichabod? Between us 
we so worked it out that my kidnapping was 
not in vain. It has done three things: First 
and best, it hurried our marriage; second, it 
made Captain Jones a bridegroom instead of 
a hermit; third, it furnished a hero for the 
battlefields of France." 



BND 



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5CT 3 5 1340 



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